Shepherding Ducklings, Evidence of Kindness, Grief... Hug Yourself for Me!

May 27, 2022
evidence of kindness in everyday life - shepherding ducklings to safety

This spring, as everything is blooming and coming alive, there is so much tragic, preventable and innocent death. 

Dear Parent, How is Your Heart? 

Mine's not feeling so great, and that's okay. It means I am human. I've got a practice, therapy and a community. I'm currently safe. My loved ones are too, but there are no guarantees.

If I am suffering, with all my emotional balance tools, gathered from 20 years of teaching meditation, breathing and yoga, I imagine others feel even heavier and more isolated. I’m doing my best, and I know you are also doing your best.

My heart aches... and:

  • I know my big feelings are momentary.

  • I know I'm not alone in them.

  • I'm turning towards my grief with kindness.

  • I see evidence of kindness all around me in the world, and I soak that up. 

My hope is to share this with you, if you are also not doing great right now. Let's support each other in being aware and awake.

Our Kids Need Us Aware and Awake to the Suffering of the World

Aware: Parents, it is important to pause and let yourself feel. If you need to numb out a little, that's understandable, but then titrate your exposure to your big emotions as you are ready. Name the feelings with as much granularity as you can. That's emotional fluency. It can be learned, and it has been shown to help build stronger neural pathways of wellbeing. 

Awake: Rest as much as you can. So much unconscious untangling happens when we sleep. When we rest, we are building resilience to stressful feelings and the fear of what will happen next.

Children need to see us actively loving the world in our own way, like some of my neighbors who shepherded a family of ducks across the parkway this week, picture above.

Our kids need us aware and awake. They also need us to notice and point out evidence of kindness wherever we can. 

Our kids need us at our best so we can co-create an inclusive and compassionate future with them. That may mean we have to let ourselves be less productive, hold boundaries to care for ourselves, and be sad for a while. By sitting with our own denial, healing can begin.

Systemic and Family Denial Leaves Our Children Isolated, Causing Overwhelming Distress

We are experiencing collective grief, whether we are aware or numb to it. Some of us have generational hurdles, and it is time to sit with those.

“If you grew up in an environment where parents were in denial about significant issues in the family, it makes sense that feeling invalidated creates overwhelming emotional distress.”
-Sharon Peykar, LCSW

I don’t only see this in me, but in our culture here in the U.S. When will we as a culture become human? When we value our shared humanity, we’ll become human ourselves. Two years ago, there was different death, also innocent, tragic and preventable. We have not recovered. Our kids have not recovered. We certainly can’t give them access to guns. 

3 Helpful Resources for Parenting During Traumatic Times

  1. Here is an 11 minute restorative yoga and breathing video to help you feel more connected and rested: Restorative Yoga for Conscious Community.

  2. Here is a reassuring article to help you respond to your kids' questions after tragedy.

  3. Here are some resources to help you navigate through this time from Dr. Becky Kennedy. As she says, “This feels hard because it is hard.”

Hi, I’m Kate, and I'm a recovering codependent. I’m a parent of a cis white neurodivergent boy, and I’m hurting right now. I’m deeply feeling the imperative to raise an inclusive, kind and grounded human during these traumatic times. If I am suffering, with all my emotional balance tools, gathered from 20 years of teaching meditation, breathing and yoga, I imagine others feel even heavier and more isolated.

If you comment, I’ll write you back. If you subscribe, you’ll be the first to know when I write something for you. Please hug yourself for me!

Summer Is Coming, Ready or Not

I've got some things to support you in that transition:

Here is the next podcast in the summer series:

How to Set Up Your Atypical Kids for Summer Day Camp Success 

When you subscribe, rate and/or review Mindfully Parenting Atypical Kids Podcast on Apple Podcasts, YouTube or Spotify, more parents who feel stressed and isolated can find it, and benefit from the supportive community we are creating here.

Hug yourself for me this week!

Stop Walking On Eggshells!

Gentle yoga to release your stress and shift your mindset about struggle.

If you get your buttons pushed often by other people's issues, you may be hypervigilant. You might feel it in your body as clenching, tension, or chronic pain.

You'll become more grounded in awareness of your body.

Stop Walking On Eggshells