Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Whole Heart Parenting...Kind Of

I have been heavily immersed in the Brene Brown University lately.  She writes about shame, vulnerability, empathy, courage and a bunch of other emotions that are sometimes hard to access or look in the eye.

She writes about the adults she's interviewed who live in a whole hearted way.  Whole hearted people, according to her research are those that choose to live and love with their whole hearts.  That sounds nice.  I'd like to do that.

I'd also like to raise little people who do that too.

Her research has uncovered that adults who don't always live and love with their whole hearts, very often experienced shame as children surrounding their creativity.  Song, dance, art.  These little kids told in some way whatever they did was bad or embarrassing, or not good enough.

This anecdote was fresh in my head after an afternoon of my 6 year olds painting rocks.  They've reached this age where I can be a quasi-facilitator with some of their activities.  Painting rocks.  How much supervision do they need?  So I flitted in and out of the room while doing domestic mom stuff.

"Mom!  I'm done!"  Sunny yelled.  They announced their creations were ready for the fairy garden they had been talking about during the paint fest.  I walked into the room, ready to praise and adore.

Ahhh! I screamed in my head.  Paint everywhere.

Drippy, gooey, puddles of paint all over the table. Paint so thick the newspaper isn't even necessary.  It's soaked through.  Don't shame, don't yell, don't belittle.  They're being creative. I repeated in my head, eyes wide.

"That's niiiiice honey." I managed through a forced smile.  "Umm, maybe next time you can use a little more newspaper," as a I pointed to the puddle of paint nearly dripping to the floor.

"Oh.  Right.  Sorry mom." She laughed it off and busily started explaining her color choices.  I praised and admired and oohed and ahhed at all of their rock creations.

The paint came off the table. It took a little extra elbow grease, but it did come off.  Before you pat me on the back and say, "Huzzah good woman! You did it! One set of whole hearted children coming right up!"  Because the paint was brought out again 24 hours later without my consent and definitely without newspaper.  (Face palm.)  I didn't yell.  But I didn't praise and adore.  I handed them wet rags and stomped out of the room.

So it's a process.  So what?

I'm a process. But I am grateful (another super important attribute/quality/emotion/state of being Dr. Brown says is necessary for living with your whole heart).  Because that painted rock, which was actually a really cool looking, was gathered on this beach.  With this crew.  On this sunny day.


1 comment:

jerry said...

Kara, I love reading your blog. I am always amazed at how good you are at writing. It captivates me every time I read your new posts. You should write novels!!! Hope all is well. Gentry