It was just your average Tuesday night hanging with the kiddies. Me cleaning the kitchen after dinner as they prepared to get out their homework after we finished another episode of Baker + the Beauty (Stan thank you for that little gem of a TV series we’ve watched in a few times over). I sat with my daughter to tackle her spelling, and metaphorically, it does feel like a tackle every time we open that book. My daughter is amazing at so many things, but writing and grammar are not her most strongest suit. I feel the apprehension every time, and I have to admit I am not exactly amped knowing it requires that extra bit of oomf to get it across the finish line for another night. So we went about the activities. I felt the struggle from the both of us. I am going to be honest as I work through the questions with her, my own insecurities came up. “Surely she should know these answers..? She’s in high school in a couple of years, how behind are we? Am I doing the right thing being by her side reading EVERY question with her? If I help her with every question am I becoming a crutch for her learning?” My worries are slowing seeping out as irritation and she pushes back with her frustration and understandably finds it even more challenging to complete the tasks.
Even through my frustration I could see how it was all playing out. How I visualized it to my understanding (I am no expert, but Neurology has interested me) my daughter’s stress in that moment was draining blood and circulation from the frontal lobes of the cerebellum (where a lot of our learning and processing of information takes place) and pooled into the hippocampus (a back part of the brain) where it charges her amydala getting her survival emotions revved up. So basically instead of being able to clearly think, she is now operating out of an activated sympathetic nervous system getting her ready to fight or flight not to learn basic grammar.
I made the call to put homework on pause and get her on my massage table for a round of kinesiology. I needed it too! I had to clear my own stress to be able to hold space for her and when we finally got it going it was such a needed, profound connection. She got to share the worry she felt – “will she ever catch up?”. To be able to release everything that followed beyond that was a beautiful exchange. We got to locate where she felt that fear of “catching up” in her body and she was able to verbalise it was around her stomach region. “It feels itchy right now”. “Good baby, keep feeling it we’ll find out what is under it”. Mistrusting herself was just one of the pieces of info we located as we proceeded through the balance. She got to feel a lot of emotions and sensations that she didn’t think had much to do with what we were working on but by the end, she felt in her words “tired and relaxed.”
I feel completely lucky to have been able to address her stress as it was live. Kids are so great because they aren’t cemented in their stress, meaning they haven’t had it suppressed as long as us beautiful adults so there bodies haven’t created as many compensations to cope. I don’t know if my daughter is going to be a writer or English professor but as long as she’s not freaking out about it to the point it causes her panic in her belly when she’s learning than I am so stoked.
I also know my annoyance definitely played a part in my daughters stress and our reactive behaviour would not have been productive to the whole situation. We are all still human and I will continue to have my not so fave parent moments (all the freakin time) but kinesiology has greatly helped me with not being stuck in my reactions or allow them to snowball, and I am no longer choked in parent guilt as much as I was. It’s not conducive to an empowered life to be weighed down by all the things we could have or should have done. I believe the best thing we can do is just show up with love and honesty that we are always still learning, however we will always OWN our happiness which means facing sometimes uncomfortable parts of our story. It discharges the stress and leaves us open to embrace connection. Oooo just lean into that for a minute…..
Anyway, what will never cease to amaze me with Kinesiology is that no matter the age, even if they are too young to understand all the wisdom that comes up in a session, they feel the relief in their body. So to know my daughter is now sleeping without that uckiness she felt in her tummy that caused her a sense of anxiety is a gift I can’t put a price on. x
I hope that helps or brings a sense of relief in your world.
“You are the sky – everything else is just the weather”
— Pema Chodron