When I was little my Mum took me and my friend to school in snow on a sledge. She heaved us through the streets on a few inches of flakes. It was joyful (well for my friend and I), when I was older my Mum and I went to a huge market. I drove her in my brand new two seater convertible. Once we’d walked around the stalls we decided to head back towards the car park – the heavens opened and if I say it rained I would be underestimating your understanding of rain, it was more like walking through a giant wave. We laughed because it actually hurt as the rain fell from the sky, we couldn’t believe we’d got caught and giggled all of the way home, grateful for heated leather seats and every time we glimpsed each others sodden exterior we erupted in laughter again.
That by the way was a metaphor, one that unpicks this quote. It resonated with me because this week I have come across too many children exposed to adult topics of conversation and worry. No matter what your circumstances the storms of life that bring you down don’t need to be shared with little ears, processing these can often lead to trauma responses for them as they take on adult emotions. If you are carrying something heavy, you can either work towards putting it down or carry it away from your child.
Finance or lack of and rising living costs in my opinion aren’t concerns for children. Exposing children to adult addiction’s often mean the children grow up within the shadows of these circumstances. That said I’m not sure we should paint adult life as sunshine and lollipops, we can sometimes laugh in unfortunate times, we can take the positive from a negative situation and we can role model self respect, resilience and endurance when storms approach. This has to happen at an age appropriate time, exposing the child to witness elements of storms from a distance before the rain hammers down on your doorstep, or putting in place boundaries around relationships and potential hazards.
Varying weather conditions are expected in the UK. Temperatures can dip overnight and summertime can sometimes mean taking a coat when you leave the house. Wrap your children up close and don’t expose them to unnecessary burdens. If I had a coat and my son didn’t, I would instinctively give it to him. Do the same with your words.