It's nearing the end of January. I wanted to make a post about Light in the Dark, and the basics of base chakra, safety.
The base chakra begins to form as soon as we are born and continues to be built over our first 7 years. It's strength is founded on our birth rights: Being held; being fed when we are hungry; being made comfortable being physically cared for; and feeling ourselves and all that we bring, reflected in our caregivers. (We feel happy, a face smiles back or a loving squeeze is given.)
Simple and straightforward. What every baby should experience.
In my working experience, adults who did not experience all of these most of the time struggle with self worth. They are quick to anger, they are vulnerable in highly emotional situations and they question their choices and descisions more readily finding fault.
A video has had a lot of response recently (within a number of groups I use) of a father talking to an upset child about feelings. Some have celebrated this 'hands on' Dad while others have pulled him up for not apologising for calling her a 'butthed' and so going on to gaslight her.
Whilst I am concerned about the motives of the person filming the incident, and the father himself for allowing it to be filmed and then shared, and am concerned whether the child (whose face is not shown) gave permssion for this interchange to be forever on the internet; I want to put them aside and assume that the father and the person filming has the welfare of the child as their highest motive, and that they want to share his non mainstream approach to parenting so that others can become aware of other approaches.
In the video he talks about all feelings being acceptable and about coping mechanisms to deal with difficult feelings, so far so friendly. Where it falls is the point where she tells him she is angry because he called her a butt head. At this point he never apologises but reflects on times when she has called him names and how it made him feel and goes on to say that 'for today' he won't tease her and that she needs to communicate her hurt so that he knows when to stop.
This, to me, is the dodgy territoty and my heart reaches out to the poor kid. But this is not where I'm going right now.
Reading through some of the comments on the video, I can only applaud the makers for being a light in the dark because, yes, there are still too few people (even on supportive parenting forums) who know that acknowledging all emotions as valid reactions to uncomfortable scenario, helps to make individuals who are kinder and more loving to themselves, are more resilient, and therefore have a better starting abilty for compassion to others.
I want to go over that, because that really is my whole point.
Because of his responses to her and not-really-listening (and that it's even on the internet) this is a parenting fail, in my opinion and I won't be putting a link to the video; but because of his theme at the beginning and because of the way it is being received in parent communities where it appears, the big discussions and light bulb moments it elicits, it's a more general team parent win.
An alternative message is being spread to and by people who need to hear it, which is Be the Light in the Dark:
Speak at the level of the child,
Speak more softly if you are up in their face, (don't get up in peoples faces if you are aiming at nice)
Acknowledge all emotions as valid reactions to situations,
Don't take other peoples emotional reactions as personal triggers (he does),
Name calling has no place in consensual family living,
and most importantly
If your actions have triggered a hurt response in a young child- own it and apologise in a way that is meaningful to them so that they know you were at fault, not them (if valid, explain that this was your emotional response to a bad situation- reflect on that and be kind to yourself about it) and that you are disapointed in yourself for doing it and that you are trying right now to be a better person at anticipating their simple, simple needs.