Becoming a parent is the most rewarding and profound commitment we will ever face in our lives. And even if we feel prepared and ready for it, this mission will take more than what we think. Today, more than ever, we look for recipes coming from the experts or other people experiences to help us walk this path. We have no specific information, no instructions, and no guarantees. We have to rely on our intuitions and our capacities for learning, and it seems sometimes to be uncertain. Yes, uncertainty is all we have.
Kids between 1 to 6 years old: Happiness and DutyLet’s start with those parents who have children between 1 to 6 years old. It is the period in which your child will learn and master skills like sitting, walking, talking, skipping, and tying shoes. In the beginning, they have no language. Therefore, they rely 100% on non-verbal. Later with constant repetition and acute observations, they start connecting and noticing how you and their world around functions. Language comes along, but communication started sometimes ago; when he or she were in the womb.At this point, parents feel overwhelmed by happiness and duty.
Changes and adaptations come along with sometimes surprising results, but parents keep the focus on doing their best. It is the period when high and strong connections between parent and children take place. So, I invite you to observe your child with no judgments, no expectations, and no rules of what is right or wrong. This human being already has a way to stand in the world, an intuition about his parents and the world around. His body provides him with tools to engage, discover and communicate. It is the time in which you learn more than ever about your child. Communication will take the form of deep connection; it will be the pillar for what is coming. Please do not think in communication as a conversation only; give it a bigger meaning! Touching, smelling, seeing, hearing, tasting, moving, sensing, experimenting and others are most relevant. Remember that only 7% of communication takes place in language, the rest is all non-verbal.Enjoy your child for what he gives you: an opportunity to learn and to bond deeply on a regular basis with another human being.
Kids between 7 to 12 years old: Discovery and understanding
Between 7 and 12 years old, children relate to other kids and adults outside the home most of their day. They go to school; they interact with a different set of rules and circumstances, discoveries and understanding. Now, language is in almost full capacity, and the body is healthy and jam-packed with energy and new emotions. It is also the time when parents have expectations and a pattern for what should or shouldn’t be. They choose what they think is best and along comes a tremendous responsibility. This new scenario of external pressures imposes breakdowns on the relationship, so to keep communication open can be a challenging experience. At this time, I suggest you take a step-down and again observe your child. Reconnect with those moments in which no judgment, no expectations and no rules of what is right or wrong were possible. Take a notepad and a pen and take notes. Write about what you see, not what you want to see and connect. The asking question with the sincere intention of bonding with your child will become a practice in which you can experiment with numbers of channels and see what works for both of you. To hold a conversation in this space of intimacy will be crucial for the next stage.
Kids between 12 to 19 years old: Huge changes! Between the age of 12 and 19, massive changes take place. Not only will his body transform but also his psychology, his perception of the world, his relationships and his interests. Everything will become a continuous and violent change. As parents, you will be faced with a human in extreme transformation. He will rebel against you, and he will question your being, your views, your convictions, your values, your culture, etc. During this time, he will search from within examining his surroundings and his persona. The right approach is hard to define, even harder to advise anyone with tips because we are all differents and move in diverse ways. However, again, take a step back but this time, make sure your child knows you are there. Be as honest as you can with what you see, try as hard as you can not to judge, classified or qualify. Inform yourself about the physical transformations and the impact of these in his and her body. Be present, be honest, and be, just be! If you are focused, you will find the right moment when the channels from previous phases, will come again. A time of peace of being together without conflict or explosion will show up. It will be a special moment, take advantage to connect deeply. To communicate from within is a journey that will take the rest of your life; however, if you decide to take it you will go to amazing surprises and incredible experiences. Take the journey and be present!