Here we go!
I want to use this post to dive deeper into what I am here to do.
I am the mama of two little boys. LJ is four and Wallace is one. It is an interesting time to parent
boys (scratch that-it is an interesting time to parent). Example: on one hand, society is condemning toxic masculinity and male privilege. On the other, that same society is still telling boys what they can’t look like, do, be interested in, play with, and most importantly feel and how they express those feelings.
Boys and young men are still often told to “toughen up”, “don’t be a baby”, “be a man” which essentially boil down to the message of feelings = bad or feelings = weak.
My son LJ is brilliantly quirky. He dances, jumps, wiggles, or runs around constantly. His favorite color is purple. He wants to be a wolf scientist when he grows up. He is also deeply sensitive and intense. When LJ feels an emotion, he FEELS it and he goes from 0 to 100 in .001 seconds. Some of his quirks make it difficult for him to relate and connect with peers and he finds it challenging to talk about and regulate feelings (especially the “negative” ones like sadness, shame, fear, anger, etc).
Wallace is a curious toddler, interested in and excited by the world around him. His eagerness for learning and innate silliness is captivating.
This brings me back to why I am here, doing what I am doing. Seeing LJ struggle has been tough for me. Writing became a coping strategy and once I started I couldn’t stop. Before I knew it, I had a handful of manuscripts that reflected our journey together in the shape of children’s books. I found LJ and I both connected with stories and with storytelling as a way to process big feelings. I also started to research proactive things I can do to raise emotionally intelligent boys.
*Here is what that means to me:
Freedom to express a full range of emotions
Ability to cope with emotions in a safe, healthy, and balanced way
Confidence to be who they really are and to embrace everything that makes them unique
Capacity to seek out friend groups where they experience belonging, rather than attempting to fit in
Courage to stand up for their beliefs and the courage to amplify the voices of marginalized groups
Ability to experience failure and maintain a sense of hopefulness
Adaptability to change
Willingness to be vulnerable, try new things, and the bravery to do something that might be scary
Knowledge that they are deeply and fiercely loved just as they are in this very moment
So I want to use this space to share the tools, playful activities, books, resources, crafts, and products that I have explored and have used successfully or unsuccessfully. I am all about finding playful and creative ways to teach kids, and I love sparking my children’s imagination. Since a part of our family’s journey includes my writing ambitions, I will also post updates about my projects that are in the works and the ups and downs of publishing children’s books with a message.
Phew, that is a lot. I hope I haven’t lost you! My intent is not to be “preachy” or to imply I have it all figured out. I am far from a parenting expert, so anticipate a blend of failures, successes, and ongoing challenges. I am an imperfect person, imperfectly parenting, amazingly imperfect little humans!
Hope to see you around!
*This is my evolving list of skills/traits I want to actively cultivate based on the ages/stages of my children. Did you know there are many resources on how Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is defined and measured? Here is a great place to start: https://psychcentral.com/lib/what-is-emotional-intelligence-eq/