Reflections on Growth

Tanya Kemp

Reflections on Growth

When we are truly attuned to our children’s needs and we account for our children’s brain differences, both us as parents and our children start to feel more competent in our relationship. The feedback we get from the guiding relationship looks and feels like connection, competence (for us and for our kids), confidence, trust, autonomy and agency. It is a wonderful sweet spot in which we feel we impact our kids and we allow ourselves to learn from them too. 

When we are in flow with our children, we foster and admire the growth that inevitably happens. Sometimes we get caught in day to day life and we don’t take the time to look back, six months or a year from now. We fail to notice how far we have all come. We often then also fail to set goals or preview what things may look like six months or a year from now. 

This month I took the time to reflect on my daughter’s growth this past 6 months. Covid has brought major uncertainty and distress. It also brought significant changes in routines and for us, this has had a knock-on effect in a few, more positive ways.

Not having to be anywhere at a certain time in the morning has been a game changer. We are slowing down and I am giving her more time to figure things out. When we’re in a routine, it just seems easier to do things for her so we can stay on track and on schedule. Now, I am constantly reminding myself to stop and wait and give her time to get things done. I have given myself an ORDER to be more patient, and less focused on how things ‘should’ be. I tune in to where her zone of competence is. I meet her there – and then through connection, add one small step. 

The idea of leaving space for our kids to figure things out, to have agency in their choices and actions and not to rob them of the opportunity to make and act on decisions is central to how we guide our children’s thinking to be more dynamic. We certainly need to add accommodations where necessary, but simply doing everything for our kids, or prompting them every step of the way, when all they need is a bit of extra time to process and act, is so disempowering for them. 

My daughter once said to me: “I will never understand your brain and how it always needs to be in such a hurry!”

While cute, this was an astute observation and something that I need to be more aware of.

Daily Action Points:

Take some time to reflect back on the past few months. Has there been changes in your child’s levels of regulation? What are they doing now that they did before and what did they stop doing? How has your relationship with them changed and developed?

What is the next step?

Daily Connection:

If appropriate, involve your children in the reflection of the past 6 months. Have them give you honest feedback. Set some intentions together and build/write ro draw something to illustrate and remind you of these intentions.  

Daily Compassion:

If you’ve made a mistake or fallen short in some way, and the self-blame won’t relent, go to a mirror. Yes, now.

Look yourself in the eyes and say: ‘I forgive you’.