Have you ever found yourself trying to understand what in the world your child is saying? Or immediately, without thought, told them they are wrong? Or further, found yourself questioning how to handle their behaviours? Or what to make of their outlandish beliefs?
It is important to remember that the learning process is a delicate thing. The way we are now, with our big and beautiful adult minds, is not the same as when we were young. Adults are wired to think about jobs, making dinner, and dare I say it, responsibilities. In such chaos of the adult mind, we forget what it is like to allow a sense of untainted creativity and allow possibilities into our world.
Imagine what it would be like to truly believe there are little people in traffic lights making them change from green to red. Allow yourself to imagine that possibility. How would it feel for one second to turn off your adult brain and see the world through your child’s eyes? What are those little people wearing? Do they press buttons or do they have to pull pulleys to change the colours? Do they live in the traffic lights?
See how your child views the world
Turning off your adult brain and allowing your child mind to flourish is exactly what I am suggesting you do. See how your child views the world. See how they are experiencing their thoughts, their surroundings, and their behaviours. Be curious with them.
You do not need to understand what World of WarCraft is (God only knows, I never will), but experience the ups and downs of their explanations, experience their widened eyes and exaggerated facial expressions, and experience where this is taking them (hopefully you can hitch a ride too).
Children are imaginative, curious, and creative creatures who want nothing more to experience anything and everything, especially with their most loved persons (that’s you!). By experiencing life with them in such a way you will not only feel more connected with your child, but also you will be able to better understand their wants and needs.
Children will look to you to understand what is in store for their future, it only makes sense to look to them to understand their world.
If your child believes that when you eat an apple seed you begin to grow an apple tree in your tummy, I wish you happy growing!
Maryn Hanmer, MFT
At Toronto Psychological Services, Maryn provides treatment to toddlers, children, adolescents and parents experiencing a myriad of issues concerning risk management, crisis intervention and management, varying concurrent mental health diagnoses, addiction and conflict resolution. In addition to counselling and play therapy, Maryn is a skilled psychometrist.