It’s mid June and I am sitting in a winter jersey dress over trousers. And I have socks on. My fingers are cold. Recently I have wanted to turn the central heating on too.
If I lived in the Southern Hemisphere this would all be fine. But I live in England. It is the summer. And I want the sun to shine.
Where is the sun’s heat hiding? The light still gets through but the warmth seems to be somewhere else entirely. Only last week we had glorious sunny days and I wore sleeveless tops and even a bikini!
Life can be like this. The reality doesn’t meet our expectations.
I like to think I fare well at handling the unexpected. I have taught myself the valuable skill of being grateful for all things and I trust that the universe is unfolding exactly as it should.
Yet my winter clothes and cold bones in summer are challenging me. I want to throw a tantrum. I want to whine about it. Not because I think tantrums and whining will make any difference but because they might make me feel better.
I believe the tantrums and whining that our children present to us are always trying to make their world right. Much of it may simply be to make them feel better. To feel powerful in their own lives.
When you take time to consider how much of a child’s world is out of their control it becomes easy to understand why they might feel powerless.
Humans need choice, freedom and independence. All of these can be lacking for children depending on how we raise them.
In my powerlessness regarding the lack of summer sun, I recognise that I really want empathy and to be heard. I’d also love a hug.
I am a 37 year old adult and I want to whine or tantrum about something that hasn’t met my expectations and is outside of my control. How much more must our children want and need to tantrum or whine when their lives lack the choice, freedom and independence that they need?
In response to their tantrum or whining, what would happen if you responded with empathy and deep listening? And hugged them?
I encourage you to try it. Hug your child the next time they tantrum or whine. Reach out to them with deep listening that doesn’t try to justify or fix anything. Connect with them exactly where they are at.