A Thought Provoking Letter from my Kids School
I received a thought provoking letter from my kids school this week. It really got my attention.
Essentially the school were asking parents and carers to write a letter to their child acknowledging them for all the things they did well whilst being in lockdown and unable to physically attend school.
This could include praising their child for all the things (big and small) that they saw as demonstrations of resilience, commitment, maturity, kindness etcetera.
I have included a revised version below but here is the comment they concluded with.
‘This year has been a transformational experience; there is huge benefit for the students, your children, knowing that you have seen them change in ways that they may not have recognized and you can see aspects of their character developing and growing.’
Communicating this request to parents and carers specifically for the purpose of improving the wellbeing of their students was one of the most thoughtful and proactive things I had seen the school do.
When I completed the requested letter (I am a very obedient student) including getting all teary eyed (my children are two of the most incredible people I know) I realised the power of this exercise for my wider community.
Lockdown in Melbourne
Lockdown in Melbourne whilst not yet over has asked more of us as individuals, families, business owners, employees and citizens than many of us have ever before had to give.
It has been challenging and confronting in more ways than I can count.
I live in a large house where I can find space to be apart from the rest of the family when I need to work or have time alone. I can see nature wherever I look. There is a beautiful lake and km’s of walking tracks literally across the road. I have lots of resources to draw on including all my training on mindset, habit formation and emotional resilience. I have my own coach and incredible friends with amazing skills. I love the company of my family. My client pool keep me focused and financially secure as I can coach online with ease. I have all the necessary support to continue to feed, clothe and otherwise take care of myself and my family.
And yet some days were really, really hard. Some days I thought I might actually crack in half.
Mentally, emotionally and physically.
I struggled often and yet, I am extremely fortunate and privileged.
It seems shallow, selfish and indulgent to even say I struggled. I am keenly aware of the suffering that many in my community and the wider community have endured and will continue to endure for many months to come. I am clear that not much in my lived experience could give me real insight into how much some have had to endure.
So I want to acknowledge you (that means you) for your magnificence. For making it this far. I want to acknowledge the tears, frustration, despair, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, the anxiety, depression, fear and overwhelm. I want to acknowledge those of you who home schooled, home worked, home stayed for this looooong seven or so months (starting in March and not yet finished in October). I want to acknowledge your mask wearing, social and spatial isolating, 5km radius living, friend and family missing, curfew obeying selves.
You are amazing.
To go through the psychological toughness of this situation is testament to your resilience, courage, love and fortitude.
You deserve to hear what an incredible human being you are – especially from yourself.
There is something deeply healing and nurturing when we give ourselves credit for what we have done well, what we have achieved and what we have learned during times of adversity. It’s a kind of self parenting exercise. Acknowledging ourselves for how we have grown, stretched and mastered obstacles when things are just down right tough is a simple but profound way to bear witness to our own strength.
I honour you and I wonder if you could take some time to honour yourself.
You can see the framework below. Think of yourself first as you do this task. Acknowledge yourself first and then of course anyone else you want to also feel the love.
I for one am proud of myself for making it through in one piece.
My silly bike riding, mask wearing photo bombs on SM, my terrible art recreation and bad poetry writing, my Mum humour that had my kids sighing out loud and rolling their eyes, my vegan cooking, dog loving, kid hugging, sun worshipping, husband nagging, chai making trackie wearing, random act of kindness perpetrating, silly selfish self. I did the very best I could do. I am so grateful that I have as much as I do. I kicked some serious butt including my own and I know you did too.
Let yourself know by writing a ‘Letter to Self’. You deserve it, make it honest, generous and kind.
♥ Start by telling yourself what an important person you are and affirm yourself.
♥ Acknowledge ways you have flourished during lockdown.
♥ Identify character traits that you have seen grow and develop through this time.
For example; your sense of responsibility, your focus on connecting with friends and family, your empathy, your resilience and kindness.
♥ Speak into how these characteristics will benefit you as you journey into the next stage of life.
♥ To conclude, reaffirm how proud you are of you, even if it is in the smallest of things.
Dr Linda Wilson is a Mindflow Mentor, Coach, Author and Presenter.
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