I know this poem paints an idyllic picture, which as a society we are sadly so far removed from now, it would require a humongous shift in our way of life to achieve. However, it seems the universe is giving us a pretty good opportunity right now to shake things up and reassess.
Children Are Animals
Children are animals. Yes it?s true.
So are you, in fact.
We?re all part of nature,
And have needs in line with that.
Imagine a world where kids can run free,
Where they learn themselves, naturally.
Little humans are designed to learn through play,
To be outdoors the entire day.
Perhaps our kids would sleep, if we had it right,
Next to us throughout the night.
Perhaps they?d fall and jump and do scary things,
All the while knowing we?re there for them.
They?d wonder at worms and dance in the rain,
They?d discover maths through fun and games.
Surely, if we had it right, our kids would know,
We trusted them, and it would show.
They?d be resilient and brave and trust themselves too,
Confident little humans who don?t belong in a zoo.
They?d know themselves well,
Right from the start.
They?d be present, here, now. Joyous.
And that would be enough.
Being and Undoing
You might be dying to send your kids back to school and after-school clubs and weekend sports and parties and all the things, but I urge you to take this strange time to step back and ask yourself a couple of big questions.
Are your children enough? Truly, right now, just as they are?
Our society?s insistence on constantly striving is making us and our children sick. We?re always busy, under pressure to be ?better? and worrying about the future. No wonder we and our children are increasingly stressed, anxious, angry and depressed.
But what if you and your kids are good enough just the way you are? What if you could slow down, making time to be still, to play, to be creative, to connect to yourselves, to nature, to the present moment? To each other?
Could there be a way?
You may notice that I?m not just talking about helping your children, I?m talking about you too. Many parents don?t want to face it, but we are constantly teaching our children how to be in the world. So if you want to help your kids be less stressed, anxious, angry or depressed, then you have to help yourself to be it too.
This is when fear may raise its ugly head. ?What, slow down?! But, then what? They?d fall behind at school, they won?t be as good as their friends, they?ll be failures! I?ll be a failure!?.
By what definition, exactly?
To understand how we measure failure, we need to look at how we measure success. When my measure of success in life was living up to others? expectations, I was miserable. When I took control of my life and redefined my success as joy, everything changed.
Redefining success as joy is an enormous act of rebellion in our society. It takes courage to turn against the crowd. But I can?t urge you enough, for your sake and your children?s, to take this incredible opportunity to question how you could prioritise joy; in what ways could you allow you and your children to live more like your natural, animal selves? To be more present, creative, playful, free, slow, connected and curious?
Dare to make your home a cocoon of transformation during this stark time, to reassess, change patterns and beliefs and to emerge as a joyous, rebellious butterfly. The beauty is, this isn’t another thing to put on your to do list and achieve, it doesn?t take striving or doing. In fact, quite the opposite; simply being and undoing.
Liz Taverner is a Child & Parent Counsellor, passionate about helping families to be conscious, calm and connected.