Discomfort is an excellent indicator that something isn't quite right. Yes, actual physical pain is an evolutionary response to those things that we should absolutely, without question, get away from as fast as we can. It will hurt - badly!
However, pulling away from something that feels uncomfortable is often an emotional reaction based purely on fearfulness. As a result, when we detect those initial twinges, we back away from the feelings instead of slowly and carefully exploring the whys. Or even poking around at the whats and hows, with positive intent - asking:
The kids I meet are often fearful of trying out new things - whether it is an unfamiliar activity, food, or even an idea. I have discovered that their fear comes from either a previous (or ongoing) trauma or a closely held worldview, possibly inherited from their family. In the end, both completely stop them from exploring the possibilities.
Considering Explore the Possibilities is our (literal) tagline, how do we work around these inhibitions? And, how can we support them to find the things that will change their perceptions of the world and their personal outcomes?
I will always maintain that it is easier to affect change for younger kids. Nevertheless, providing a comfortable, non-coercive environment filled with resources and materials - shared with people who model expressions of joy, gratitude, love, kindness, and have expectations for respectful behavior - is a perfect beginning point. Children and teens are more likely to lean into the discomfort of change and connect with the people around them when they feel supported and comfortable enough to investigate the above questions and then take control of all the answers on their own terms.
Weekly Creative Meditation
We are exploring some potential (exciting) options for DRC East. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, DRC is here in Canton and Lawrenceville for any child who feels like they are not supported to be their best selves by their current school environment. We have rolling membership, which means any child in the NoCo is welcome to join us at any point during the academic year. Contact us today.
And, a huge shout of thanks to the SLU crew who came out for Make a Difference Day to rake the DRC Canton yard and do a deep clean inside.