If you’re reading this you’ve likely got a child with ADD or you were that child. Probably both. Helping our children understand life and where to put their attention is every parent’s task. This article looks at a simple 3-step procedure to help our children resume emotional balance by feeling your presence as non-threatening.
You will not find here what ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) is, or how this healing of ADD works. Rather here is an exercise you can go through with your child (or yourself or spouse) to broaden your understanding and skill with feelings. You be the judge of the outcome.
The 3 steps:
- Find the word: Agree with your child on a word to describe their emotion when they ‘go away’ or act impulsively;
- Locate the memory linked to the emotion;
- Hold and love the child in the memory.
(1) Find the word.
Help your child learn and communicate the words to share their emotional life. “What are you feeling right now?” is a first step in relieving emotional discomfort and attention deficit.
You may need to set a framework for them, since this is new territory. “Are you more happy or sad? Alone or connected?
Be patient and expectant of understanding and growth on both your parts. Keep the emotional-word focus and ignore thought statements like “she isn’t fair” or “they don’t like me”.
When your child seems to be fully present and connected to you, and has shared a feeling word that feels accurate, agree with them and clarify: So you’re feeling… (sad, afraid, angry) ?
Ask where they feel it in their bodies and have them touch that part of their body.
(2) Locate the emotional memory origin.
The feelings which travel with attention deficit have a history. Now that you have a shared recognition and agreement on what to call this experience of discomfort, it’s time to locate its origin.
Tell your child you’d like them to let go of their thoughts and to just feel the feeling for a moment. “Be in your body and just trust that feeling as a helper for you.” Watch closely for a few seconds, suggest in a kind and encouraging way that your child “let go” of what’s going on here, and to follow the feeling as it leads back to the first time they remember feeling it. “Now I want you to close your eyes and let yourself drift back in your life to another time, maybe the first time you had this feeling.”
Let them go at their own speed. Keep your own breathing steady and watch them closely. In a short time they will “arrive” at a disturbance in their memory. Your job is to watch and understand when this happens. Remain patient as well as alert.
If they don’t speak out spontaneously about what they are experiencing, ask “What is happening?”, “How old are you?” “Where are you in your life?” and wait for their answer.
Listen for a statement in the present tense. For example “I am in the hallway…..” rather than “I remember myself in the hallway.” Ask “What is going on?” if they don’t volunteer.
At this point you will have uncovered a source relating directly to the attention deficit you witnessed in your child a moment ago, i.e. the drifting off or compulsive behavior.
Notice that this locating exercise has followed an emotional path from the present into the emotional history of the body. It is my experience that everyone has these stored emotional paths which are there to keep us safe from past dangers that may reoccur.
Our goal in locating them with our children is to relieve the disturbance stored in the cells and experienced as still happening. The memories you uncover with your child are in need of balancing love, and you are that balance, here and now. On to embracing the disturbance.
(3) Hold and love the child.
Now you have seen your child’s distracted/agitated behavior and brought your loving awareness to the behavior and the emotion connected to it. You’ve guided your child in exploring their own conscious memory in your presence. You have traveled with them to what their body recognizes as more important than the present, another situation where this same emotion they just experienced has been rooted for some time. Now it’s time to heal.
Ask if they still feel the feeling……if they are still in the memory, in the place of disturbance.
If they nod, say yes, etc, ask if they would like to stay there or come be with you. Or ask if you may join them there to help them out. Wait for an answer and keep your own energy present and loving. This is much like entering a dream state with them and bringing them back into the present. Consider the immense power you embody as the protector of your child and share it with your eyes, ears, words, touch.
If they say the feeling is gone, ask if they will return to it. If they say no, appear afraid or overwhelmed, you have done enough for now. Stop and touch them with love and words of support and plan to pick up the exploration later.
This exercise can be repeated many times to balance a memory which has had enough power to hide or distort the value of the present circumstances As a parent you ARE the consciousness of expanding love and ARE the ability to bring loving acceptance and understanding to what schools call somewhat accurately ADD. Bringing love and acceptance to your child offers them proof that they are not as lost as they seem in the emotional memory.
The more often you follow the recipe, the broader, deeper and wiser your understanding of ADD and what it is, and isn’t. And as mentioned earlier, you can also do this with yourself, your spouse, or literally anyone who is willing.
This post was previously published on www.thefatherconnection.wordpress.com and is republished here with permission from the author.