I have been playing the cutest game called “Farm Town”. Now Farm Town is about building a community that will help you harvest your crops, keep in touch, and tend to your farm while you are away (from the computer). We plow and plant, arrange crops and trees, expand our property and eventually have enough coins to buy a house. If I am short of coins, I can to to the marketplace and seek out a job.
As I was mindlessly plowing, my mind began to free associate and I realized this game parallels the rearing of children/teens. The child at birth is essentially an empty field of grass that we can feed, water and generally take care of. In order for the child to grow and mature we must tend to the soil, plant good seeds and harvest.
The plowing is in reality a tuning in, listening, watching and understanding how the child needs to be responded to.
You then decide what type of seed you will plant. Should you sow seeds of kindness or selfishness? Will you choose seeds of love, anger or hatred? Through a gentle touch, words of kindness, or of encouragement and love you are consistently planting the seeds of gentleness, kindness and love.
Here are two things I would have you do to be more aware.
1. Make a list of the ideas you are planting in your child/teen’s brain on a daily basis. Lay it all out there whether it is good or bad.
2. Monitor your words. Here is a good seed to plant, “I love you”, “I am proud of you”. Here is a seed you don’t want planted, ” I love you, but I don’t like you”. *sigh*
Words are powerful – use them carefully.