Our children are heading back into schools and kindergartens after #isolation and the feeling is mixed for some.
My daughter is heading back with excitement and a little trepidation for what the new rules will be like. Her biggest question is how close can I get to my friends? Can we hug and play together?
How do we ease a feeling of anxiety around the unknown? In our house we use curiosity. Curiosity is a strength and more we practice it, the more it becomes our go-to response as we create well worn pathways in our brain. Being curious leads to empathy, self-awareness and problem-solving.
Curiosity doesn't demand that we know the answers. It creates an openness to the questions that allow for all kinds of possibilities, even good ones. Anxiety focusses on the same sense of unknowing but with the idea that it possibly won't turn out well.
Our brains want to be prepared. But, in reality, outcomes aren't fixed and that can be scary. Curiosity helps to train our thinking into feeling like an unfixed outcome could be an advantage to us.
Being open and curious in your house or classroom might start as a conversation. During the isolation period in my house I wrote the book We Are Resilient & We Recover. My daughter and I had conversations around what it is like to be alive on Earth. We talked about the natural cycles that create balance and upheaval. We talked about the recent drought and fires. About the floods that came after. About the constant little and big earthquakes and the eruptions that happen suddenly and sporadically. We talked about #Coronavirus, sickness and viruses in general.
I noticed how inclined she is to recognising the awe and beauty of the power of our Earth. I noticed that in talking about it openly she is ready to accept that it is natural. We discovered that rather than worrying about what might happen, we could focus on how when humans react when we experience adversity. We band together. We connect with each other in new ways, we share our resources and we work as one to rebuild. In looking at these natural disasters we also marveled at how quickly Earth was able to replenish itself as balance was recovered. We found a deep appreciation for Earth and humanity in our discussions and this appreciation became the message of the book.
Try exploring new ideas together. Pique your curiosity by starting a conversation. Children love to be involved in your thought processes and development. It gives them a sense of self-efficacy to feel that their opinions matter and that we are all learning together. Curious minds and open hearts will make this transition back to the outside world more rewarding for everyone.
See my new title for resilience here