Seen, soothed, safe
In addition to my beloved Dr. Shefali, this weekend neurobiologist Dr. Dan Siegel talked to us about the critical importance for children feeling seen, soothed, and safe. That these were his top 3 indicators of future mental well-being. Dr. Shefali had a more mindful spin on it, that kids need us to see them as they are, not as we fear or hope they may be. To accept their “is-ness.” As in, how is my child? What is my child doing? Not, how can I improve my child, fix my child, make my child better/different than she is?
Anyway, there was a lot more than that, and it all sounded like truth to me, in that way where when I hear it I can argue and fight it but there’s not a lot of certitude behind the fight.
Like, “Oh crap, right, my kid isn’t here to make me feel better or worse or to prove anything about me. My kid is here for himself, to be himself. And my job is to help keep him alive.” And even that maybe I have to hold lightly. I can’t control whether he lives or dies. I can influence it, but that’s it.
And oh yeah that’s my job for myself too. Try to keep myself alive and allow myself to grow — seen, soothed, safe. I’m gonna keep going.