2019 has been a big year for the Let ’em go Barefoot community! The number of supporters has continued to rise and the amount of overall engagement on Facebook and Instagram has stopped me in my tracks quite a few times.
What has excited me the most is the noticeable shift in perspectives. The things that stir me and inspire me to write are typically not topics for the masses, but this appears to be changing.
More people are seeking information about educational choices. More people are seeking articles and research that speak to the critical importance of the early years of a human’s life. More people seem to understand the connection between caring parents and communities and mentally healthy adults.
The idea that mental illness “just happens” is losing its grip and the roots are being exposed.
While this exposure is unnerving and hard for many people to accept, it is imperative we get this right. Mental wellness affects every aspect of our society.
As a writer, it is not only my desire to inspire others but to nudge and challenge readers to dig into their reasons for living the way they do. I want people to move from auto-pilot actions to awareness and ownership of their choices. Not to keep doing things “just because it is how things have always been done”.
Hundreds of thousands of people are reading these messages and they are resonating. I sense BIG changes on the horizon. We are shedding outdated and harmful practices and our society will be better for it.
I am thankful beyond words to have contributed to the peaceful/mindful parenting and unschooling movements. Thank you for being a part of this community and for your engagement, love, and support.
2020, here we come!
The top 6 Facebook posts of 2019
1. OUR WORDS ARE IMPORTANT
“Our words are important. They are powerful.
How you use them can create a sense of peace and calm or divisiveness and shame. And not just what you say, but also what you don’t say. Tone, attitude, indifference. It all matters.
Have you heard how some adults talk to their kids?
Can you imagine what our relationships would be like if adults talked to each other this way?
I think we’d be a lonely, miserable batch of humans with very unpleasant feelings about our relationships.
Kids deserve to be talked to with respect and dignity from the get-go.”
2. IF WE’RE BEING HONEST
“If we’re being honest, probably half (if not more) of the people having children are not emotional grown-ups. They are adults by age only. Why does this matter? Because it means emotionally immature adults are not only running our institutions but are raising the next generation.
The good news, this is not a new phenomenon. The bad news, we have a lot of work still left to do.
How do you break the cycles and deal with unresolved trauma in your own life? Look within. Revisit your own history. Retell your story as honestly as you can and notice the patterns you uncover. Did you avoid conflict? Withdraw? Play nice? Were you an aggressor or tyrant when things didn’t go your way? How did your parents interact with you? Did they treat you as a capable human or as a pesky addition? Were you elevated or minimized? Were you shamed for who you were or embraced and lovingly supported? Did you feel you were being punished by behaviors that were a direct result of the chaos you grew up in? Did your parents accept responsibility?
This is not about blame, it is about understanding. You are the culmination of all you have experienced and the messages you received as you were developing. “
3. BEHAVIORAL PATTERNS AND EARLY LIFE CONDITIONING ARE REAL
“Behavioral patterns and early life conditioning are real. What you learned about relationships, what you learned to believe about yourself according to the attitudes of your primary caretakers, and what you incorporated into your belief system about children, in general, becomes an operating system that runs on autopilot if you are not mindful.
Bringing conscious awareness to how you respond (or react) to your kids is a daily effort and a muscle you must work, a lot.
What sorts of attitudes towards children or emotional patterns did you bring into your relationship with your kids that you changed or are in the process of changing?
4. COMEDY RELIEF. Oh, how it stings of ridiculousness and truth.
5. WE ARE NOT THE VICTIMS OF OUR CHILDREN
“We are not the victims of our children’s growth and development. Your children are not perpetrators. You are not here to “survive” them.
They are navigating this complicated, fast-paced world of ours with their immature minds, bodies, and souls. What they need are emotionally competent and steady caregivers who can help them thrive along the way.
Can their growth be tiring and confusing? Do we succumb to unhealthy patterns and reactive behaviors sometimes? Um, yep.
But we know that supporting and guiding the development of a human being takes an investment of energy, time, and especially deep, personal awareness. When you do the work of compassionate, mindful caregiving, the odds are ever in your favor that you will not only survive but thrive too!” #mindfulparenting#changethescript#raisingthefuture
“Teens. They get such a bad rap in our society, but I have found them to be amazingly curious, forward-thinking, inspiring, and deeply caring and engaged.
However, I see them through a lens of possibility and potential not one of suppression and control.
What if the damaging narrative that has been hammered into our psyches that teens are sneaky, untrustworthy, and up to no good is flipped on its head?
What if teens stopped being viewed as people to control, schedule, and otherwise dismiss as capable of making decisions about their own lives?
Maybe their “naughty” behavior, which is a direct result of suppression, would actually turn into productive behavior with unlimited potential.
Humans want to collaborate and engage with their environments—teens included, but they must be genuinely welcomed and invited in order to do so wholeheartedly.
Let’s change the negative talk and see teens as the beautiful, full of life souls they are!
Do you have a teen you adore?”