You probably don’t know when it happened, but at some point you started getting disconnected from your natural gifts as a child. All the should’s, don’ts, do’s piled up on top of your “I love’s” and your “I’m so excited about’s”.
Your child has unique gifts that are alive and bright. Gifts that only he can offer to the world.
These unique gifts are his soul’s purpose, why he’s here and what fills his days with meaning and joy.
It’s challenging to keep his gifts shining bright. After all it’s a tough world with heaps of stress and suffering. BUT, there is a way to nourish these soul purpose gifts!
As my husband says to our son before bed, “May you sleep well, so you can return tomorrow refreshed and offer the gifts only you can give to the world.”
We all want to help keep the joyful light in our children’s eyes, but missteps can smother the gifts and bright light. We all know the feeling of being disconnected from our gifts, our light, sometimes for short periods, sometimes never feeling truly connected. We don’t want our children to feel that disconnection.
Nourishing our child’s soul purpose is one of our most important jobs as parents.
Why is it so challenging?
Because very few people I’ve met feel their unique gifts were recognized and appreciated by their parents, teachers, employers. Without that validation, they feel confused as to their purpose.
It’s hard to validate our kids gifts when no one did that for us.
In my work as an intuitive counselor, I feel it’s such a gift to help my clients, and their kids, reconnect with their gifts, their soul’s purpose, their unique color in the tapestry of the world.
From my work with clients, I’ve come across a few examples of the gifts we have to offer: expanding a greater sense of love: the heart child, being a bridge between two worlds through music or creative work: the creative connecting child, offering one’s unique perspective with writing for healing: the sensitive observing child, exploring the frontier of science and technology: the inventive child, and so many others.
What are simple steps you can take to nourish your child’s soul purpose gifts?
#1 Listen and observe your child. Set aside your expectations. It’s easy to want our children to be a certain way- sweet, bold, creative, thoughtful, smart, funny and on and on. Instead, listen to who he is as he plays, talks, socializes. Listen as his world lights up with joy. What turns on that light? When does he shine the brightest?
Early on I could tell our son was very social. By watching him, even as a small baby, I finally understood the world of an extrovert. I’ve been an introvert from as long as I can remember, and as long as my mom’s stories of me go back. My son is different. Being around people lights up his world.
We go to the same small, organic grocery store each week and he has a whole fan club there. He sings and says hi through all the aisles even if no one is around us. He smiles at everyone he sees. When I am with him, I have reoriented from my introvert self, to stop and say hi to everyone, to nourish each moment of possible connection, to nourish his gift of connection.
#2 Set up daily routines or rhythms to help your child have the ground and space to explore herself. Daily routines help offer a stable ground, which is important to children. In my years working with kids, I noticed they were the most relaxed and joyful when they had a consistent structure to their day. Kids were the most stressed and fussy when they had inconsistent, busy days.
When there is at least 30-60 min of open, free, solo or sibling, play time for your child each day, she will be able to naturally move towards what she loves and get to know the deep essence of herself. I recommend a number of 30-40 min spans of independent, no parents involved, play for babies and toddlers as they need space to integrate themselves into the world. For a great post from my favorite blogger on encouraging baby/kid’s independent play, read here.
Our day is set up to allow my son some flexibility around naps and eating as he might be sleepier or more hungry occasionally, but generally he wakes, naps, eats and has hours of free play time in the same general daily rhythm, so his body stays regulated and his joyful self can shine.
#3 Nourish what your children love but don’t make it into a chore.
Kids don’t need anyone else to help them be in love with what they love! Your job is to just notice and validate this love.
It’s enough to simply reflect to her, “You have a beautiful voice.” Or “I love watching you dance.” Or “You are very caring and loving towards animals.”
My son loves R+B/Funk music. Also, he’s a great dancer, even though he cannot walk yet. I see my impulse to sign him up for music classes, or if he were older, some hip hop dance classes to help nourish these loves of his. It’s great to expose kids to classes and creative things, but as early as the age of 2 your child will know if she WANTS to go to classes. We all know the moms who have their kids in 5 classes a week to help them explore their gifts, but I’ve never met an adult who loves art more after someone makes them do a painting in front of others.
If she loves singing, then let her sing. Sit and listen with full attention if she loves an audience. Or let her sing alone and appreciate the sweetness of her voice while you are cooking dinner.
As a parent, we are best able to connect with our child’s soul purpose by letting our child explore her world with free play and simple validation that we see her gifts as they grow, develop and change.
Listen to your child, be open to observing her: Who are you, why are you here? Help her stay connected to the gifts only she can give to the world.
Share this post to help other parents, so we can have even more people connected to the gifts uniquely theirs to be shared with the world.