Living Arts Weekly: Seasonal Changes of Childhood

April 24, 2022

All across the Midwest, flowering trees dotted with tiny billows of pink and white send a gentle message of awakening. Flowering bulbs thrust their bold colors out of the earth to eagerly flag Spring’s arrival. We are certain of the seasonal change, yet it is difficult to feel patient for the full retreat of winter. We don’t feel so sated by warm sunshine-filled days when they are followed by two or three cold, snowy ones.

This is the way of change, sometimes. We want it to be quick and painless, fully satisfying. We want to be on the other side before we fully feel the transition. However, the transition may be most valuable because this is where we do our growing. Learning to manage transitions with patience and equanimity, putting full faith in the larger picture can be one of the most difficult pieces of life and parenting.

When we suddenly find ourselves in front of our sweet toddler shouting “NO! I do it!” we know we have arrived at one of those difficult transitions. When our four-year-old seems to be trying out every out-of-bounds behavior they can, or when our six-year-old is throwing a toddler sized tantrum and begins to lie, we know we have arrived again. What do we do at those moments? These are the transitions that can be most painful, that can leave us perplexed and full of emotion. And every one of them calls for a different way to meet our ever changing child.

These moments are seasons of change in our children’s lives, and just as with the frustrating impatience we may feel with Spring, it helps to keep in mind what’s ahead. It helps to understand their purpose. Spring is a season of rebirth, but what must precede birth or rebirth is death. What’s happening within our children’s consciousness at each one of these moments is death and new growth. The transition is necessary for what is new and unique, marvelous and beautiful to emerge. 

What we can offer, no matter the unique context of each situation or child, is consistent love, support and understanding. We will not be able to prevent or fix every unwanted behavior. We will not be able to save our children from suffering through these transitions. We can kneel beside our children in the wisdom of understanding and, with resolve, hold the boundaries they need to feel safe and secure as they pass through these difficult moments into a greater degree of self-awareness and realization. 

Are you familiar with how LifeWays can support your parenting and childcare? We invite you to join our free course, Welcome to LifeWays!, to learn about what we have to offer!