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These last few days I have been reflecting on this attitude of "accompanying" the other from a space of empathy, understanding their rhythms and their spaces, as if it were a dance with the other, going to the rhythm of their steps, but a little beyond simply following the rhythm but also realizing the importance of putting oneself in the other's place and developing empathy, based on knowledge and respect for the other.
I have been thinking about this a lot, watching my children grow up. I have two sons, Miguel and Gael, Miguel is 10 years old and Gael is two and a half years old, even though they have a big age difference I have been able to see how their learning and growing processes are so different.
Miguel has been very fearful since he was little and it is hard for him to dare to do new things, he is quite introverted and he avoids anything he feels he can put himself at risk. On the other hand, Gael, despite being younger, has a more intrepid, extroverted and adventurous personality, possibly because he is so young he has not yet developed the ability to see risk or danger in things, however, he is still an extroverted child.
So I have at home both extremes in personality and different ways of seeing the world and consequently doing things. This has led me to understand that I must go at the pace of each one to accompany them in the best way in their learning processes, without imposing anything that may go against their wishes and rather taking advantage of their potential from what they are.
All this has been something rather intuitive, actually I did not propose this as a mother, on the contrary, I came with the chip of my formation in which parents told you what to do and what not, even if you were not willing to do something, you had to do it, period -like eating a horrible liver steak-.
I have thought about this because in recent days my son Miguel learned to ride a bike, he had not wanted to ride his bike because when we gave it to him 3 years ago he got on it and fell off, from then on he became very afraid of the bike and did not want to experiment anymore. It took 3 years for him to be ready to take that step again, and this time I was also ready to support him to overcome that fear.
When I saw him start the bike I was very happy to see how he convinced himself that everything would be fine, accompanying him in each step and with a lot of motivation he started riding until he got the rhythm of the bike and then he was riding alone on the avenue enjoying the ride.
As parents we must develop this ability to adapt to the individual context of our children, paradoxically some parents think that it should be the other way around: -the children should be the ones who adapt to the circumstances of society or to our way of doing things-, and they force them to do things for which they were not prepared and this generates those traumas or resistances, and also that important opportunities are lost.
I also see that many people may have the bad habit of comparing: "my son walked when he was one year old and yours is still not walking", I remember those words of a neighbor who was worried because Gael, at 14 months old, had not started to walk. Fortunately I ignored her and didn't worry about it because I knew that my baby would start walking at his own pace at any moment, and he did! The next month he was running around the house and no one was stopping him.
If I had worried about his comment I may have put my son under unnecessary pressure to walk and this would have surely stressed him out unnecessarily, because in the end, what is the problem with a child learning to ride a bike at 10 years old or a baby learning to walk at 15 months?
Absolutely none! It is perfect and wonderful because it was a learning process that happened at the right time when they were ready to take that step and as a mother I learned to adapt to that by practicing this attitude of "accompanying" and following their rhythms.
We are all different and everyone has their own way of being, thinking and acting, and I feel that as parents we can learn to educate and "Guide" from a loving and caring space, without impositions, taking them little by little to feel ready to undertake an activity or goal and celebrate each small step they take from their possibilities, respecting their times and ways of learning.