Kim John Payne affirms something very specific and VERY important in the first few lines of chapter 2: You know your child unlike anyone else. No one else has the instinctual knowledge of your child that comes so naturally to you.
He introduces us to the concept of the soul fever. The soul fever can have many manifestations, but we as parents know it: That feeling that something is off with your child. Behavior may be a bit odd, food desires change, emotions may run high. If we find our own inner quiet and connect with our instincts, our response to the soul fever is just as simple as our response to any physical fever: SIMPLIFY.
The steps outlined help us connect with the process.
Noticing: Recognizing the small snit that has lasted for several days now, the sullen stare that doesn’t fall off in the bright playful game, or the entertaining yet attention seeking outburst.
Quieting Things Down: During a soul fever, children may benefit from a quiet weekend at home, more time spent together at school, or a 1-1 peaceful walk in the woods. Pulling back can help you and your child identify the root of the soul fever.
Bringing Them Close: A break from regular routines, and a refreshing of old family favorites will help alleviate some soul fevers. Painting together, board games, camping. Anything your family loves and relaxes you all. You provide the support and the container for the emotions they are working through. Also providing yourself with appropriate self care can make it much easier to walk with them, even if the path they walk triggers your own strong emotions.
Running Its Course: A long cry, a few weeks of slow pace, and refraining from what Kim calls “hyper parenting” the time and support needed for somethings to simply pass. While we want to support our children, sometimes their pain or struggle is their own and all we can do is say “I am with you.”
A Slow, Strong Return: His usual easy laughter returning, her smiling eyes bright again, a more confident stride. The little signs of the passing of a soul fever leave us with a renowned feeling of “Phew!”
Walking the path with a soul fever, supporting the journey and providing emotional container for release is not easy! But the knowledge that we were present, mindful and available during their hard times stays with our children and creates long lasting imprints on our relationships with them, and their relationships with others.
Now for my request!
You have been reading this book for a while now. Chapter 3 is all about Environment. Won’t you guest blog and tell us about how that chapter has been implemented in your home?