Vivaan isn’t the kid who will jump on to trying something brand new easily. He is intentional and deliberate but that also means he’d rather take the tried and tested route. As a parent I try to do my best to respect this quality and in a compassionate, nonjudgmental way encourage him to try new things simply for the joy of it and also for him to see his own potential and boost his own confidence.
He started kindergarten this week and I got an email midweek from school informing me of all the after school classes available and I asked him if he wanted to try basketball. Here is a sneak peak into our conversation –
V: But mumma, I don’t think I can do it. I am not good at it.
Me: If you try it and practice, you’ll get better, learn something new and be proud of yourself.
V: Hmm, I am still not sure
Me: I have confidence in you, let’s atleast give it a try. If you don’t enjoy, we can talk about it.
We went back and forth some more and I could see my own ego, my own dreams and aspirations come in the way and I was keenly trying to stay present to my values of holding space and encouraging my child. At the end, he said mumma sign me up let me give it a try.
But here’s what really touched my heart – He said – “ Mumma can you please keep telling me this again.” I was a bit shocked in some ways to hear that from my 5 and a half year old. And I clarified if I wanted to remind him of how much I believe in him and the power of practice and he said I like to hear that from you.
It was such a touching moment and a wonderful reminder of how much difference a human can make on another human by simply reminding them of their potential, of the power of hard work, of taking the first step, of continuing to choose courage even when fear is trying to rule the scene. Our brains can be rewired and yes, there is a lot that each of us can do to work with our inner friend but when it is amplified by genuine care and love by someone you can trust, the effects are faster.
There are so many people who do that for me and sometimes a single email, a hug, a few words of encouragement and appreciation can make the biggest difference in my day. I was having an emotionally rough afternoon and, shame can kick in very quickly around being sensitive and empathetic and how much I can cry and as best as I was trying to access my inner wise friend, I was still struggling. I was also down with fever and my body was hurting so that wasn’t helpful, and I finally went to Sumit and asked for help. I knew a 5-minute conversation would heal and it really did, I needed a hug and a reminder that even with my imperfections, I was trying my best and that was enough. He has likely told me that a million times over the years and sometimes its funny why I still need to hear it again but it heals and helps and brings us closer.
A huge gratitude to all the people who fill up my bucket every single day in small and big ways and as always children – my own and others around me are truly life’s best teachers.
My body is still hurting but hopefully I will hit the bed with a full heart of love!
Thank you so much for writing this. I am a teacher who reminds students of their potential everyday, but with my own kids though I forget or think they should just know it because I feel like I am doing this way too many times everyday. Thank you for reminding me that my son needs his mom to remind him of his potential. Thank you for reminding me that I need to find my loved ones to fill my bucket.