Learning about whole-life learning has led to some eye-opening breakthroughs in my and my family's life this past week.

1. DD1 who is going on her 3rd consecutive week of being home from school (and we are about to file an "independent study" agreement so she will stay home longer) finally hit bottom after days of what many would consider difficult, disagreeable behavior. From wisdom shared here, I have been learning to see DD1's perspective more in these challenging moments. In sobs while being held in bed just before falling asleep, she shared what was at the root of her pain -- she missed our townhouse and it's location that we moved from over 2 months ago. It is 2 miles away but it is not the place we live in now. She was born in her bed there and knew many of our neighbors. Strangers would introduce themselves to her as she was known by sight as the little girl in pink speeding along on her scooter since she was 2 (she's 5 now).

I don't know if or when she would have shared this grief with me had she been spending all this time and energy at her kindergarten with 27 other kids on a schedule that does not fit her sleeping or eating body clock. I don't know how else she might have processed her grief. I'm glad i don't have to find out. What I do know is that she has released a tremendous amount of stress and angst since being able to share this with me. She and I are connected and in tune with one another's needs now more than we have been in a long time. She is kinder, more cooperative, too.

2. She also has taken initiative away from watching TV without prompting from me for the first time in recent memory. She started an individual play plan of fantasy travel, complete with packing her bag, taking a parasol, notepad and pen. When she returned, she asked me if we could bake bread together.

How nice for many reasons! I was relieved to see that any lingering doubts about removing TV limits were unnecessary. I was happy to report to DH, DD1's initiative away from the TV to quell his fears about TV as well. And I think it's very likely that DD1 needed the TV, needed to zone out, needed to not be stressed out meeting 27 new kids, navigating new schedules, avoiding the class bully, painting in more than just one color, etc. to get to a place of feeling safe so that she could be vulnerable with me. And, she needed to be difficult with me, DD2 and even DH to test the waters of acceptance and love before being so vulnerable.

3. And, I passed her test for love and acceptance, so she gave me her trust. I was working last school year and I sensed that I had lost connection with her though others around me thought I was crazy. So many people our family knows think our kids are so attuned to us and securely attached.

When the majority is accustomed to suboptimal attachment, it is not easy to imagine what really being connected to your kids looks like. I think I am beginning to get it!

4. I am seeing things more clearly in terms of how to relate better to my children as I read, try, wait and watch. I am seeing how I should relate to DH, but that comes a little slower. It is almost as if I need my DDs to give me the chance to improve my mothering to them so that I can then, in a sense, mother DH and myself better, too.

5. Being in the space I am in right now is happy, peaceful, joyous learning.

6. Aside from this cold we're kicking around our house, our DDs are happy and peaceful and always learning, now, too.

So very grateful,

Sent from my iDon'tAlwaysHaveItOnPhone

Sandra Dodd

-=-She also has taken initiative away from watching TV-=-

-=-I was happy to report to DH, DD1's initiative away from the TV -=-

That's quite a stilted phrase. "Choosing to do some other things" leaves TV as one of the choices, but "initiative away from TV" is very stiff and odd.

The simpler and plainer your words, the simpler and plainer will be your thoughts. In a world of choices, people choose. In a world of confusion, there might be initiative toward or initiative away from (though it's not a good use of "initiative"). Move away from confusion in as many little ways as you can, and live in the clear light of the moment.

Please try to use "daughter" rather than DD. It's easier for people to read. It's clearer.


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


I thought my post had been lost or deleted as I sent it over 10 days ago. Thus "DD" instead of "daughter".


Sent from my iDon'tAlwaysHaveItOnPhone

On Oct 20, 2011, at 3:51 AM, catfish_friend <catfish_friend@...> wrote:

> Learning about whole-life learning has led to some eye-opening breakthroughs in my and my family's life this past week.