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Back to Center: Kids gravitate toward honest answers, even when they’re tough answers

They seem to have a special radar for detecting when they’re not being given the whole truth

Sarah Perron, Certified Coach

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Sarah Perron, Certified Coach

Sarah Perron, Certified Coach

Sarah Perron, Certified Coach

Life Coach and Writer

Offering perspectives for personal realignment and empowerment.

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August 10, 2022

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05:16 AM

Back to Center: Kids gravitate toward honest answers, even when they’re tough answers

The purpose of the “Back to Center” advice column is to provide perspectives for personal realignment and empowered living in the COVID era. Sarah encourages you to reach out to her with requests for advice about self-development and emotional and mental well-being in these complicated times. Please send your questions to advice@aflds.org. Looking forward to hearing from you!

For all other inquiries, please direct your questions to info@aflds.org.

 

I’m having a problem with one of my co-workers. A while back we were casually talking, and the subject of the COVID vaccine came up. She said, “Man, those anti-vaxxers…How stupid can you be to not take this vaccine? They’re all a bunch of idiots.” I was so taken aback. “Wow,” I thought to myself, “She’s basically calling me an idiot to my face, and she doesn’t even know it.” How could you say something like that to someone without having any idea of their personal views? How could you just not care how it might come across? Anyway, I took it very personally. Since then, I haven’t felt the same way about her, and just don’t want to interact with her anymore, which isn’t really possible since we work together. I’m finding it so hard to let this go. What should I do?

Thanks for sharing your story. Yes, it is shocking when someone shows such a lack of care for the fact that others in the room might have a different viewpoint on something.

The main thing that comes up for me as I think about your situation is this: You have a choice. You have a choice as to how much you are going to let this woman’s words and attitudes affect you. 

It would be wonderful if the people around us always spoke with consideration of others’ values and opinions, or just plain thought before speaking. But as you well know, this isn’t a given. You’ve now seen some of your coworkers’ “true colors,” so to speak. Now you get to decide to what extent you going to let her behavior hold sway over you.

One question you might ask yourself is, “Why does this incident bother me so much?” What part of it feels the most triggering for you? Is it that she attacked your personal views and decisions? Is it her lack of consideration in the way that she spoke about this sensitive issue? Is it the abrasive tone of her comments? Or is it something else? Finding out what’s at the heart of the feeling of hurt or offense for you is the first step toward being able to release it. 

And I’ll tell you something: If you dig deep, you’ll most likely find that the heart of the matter is more about you, and not really so much about your coworker (and this is good news, because it means you have power over it!). Maybe this incident triggered you so much because it’s playing on a fear, insecurity, or past event that you need healing from. I encourage you to do some journaling about all this to help bring you more clarity. When you know what you’re dealing with, the personal work you need to do will become much clearer. 

I hope that going deeper within yourself about this experience will enable you to release the negativity you feel toward your coworker and empower you to realize that the way we choose to experience life is always in our hands. All the best!

****

I have a question related to parenting in these times. My 9-year-old son has been asking a lot of questions about different things going on in the world these days. I think he picks up bits and pieces from news programs when they’re on in the house, from hearing me and his father talk, and probably from school and friends. Our family is definitely of the opinion that there’s a global agenda being pushed, and though we’ve tried to keep our conversations about it very even in tone when the kids are around, our son, who is already prone to anxiety, seems to have absorbed some fear from it anyway. The fears come up especially at bedtime, and he asks us a lot of questions like, “What if someone shows up at our door to make us take the vaccine? Do they know where we live? What if there’s another lockdown? What if bad people come and try to take our home away from us?...” and so on. I want to be honest about the realities we see in the world, but at the same time, I don’t want to make my son feel more worried and anxious. What is the right balance here? 

Wow – your question is yet another reminder that parenting is no easy task (as if we needed reminding)! It’s especially complex these days. I really applaud your desire to be honest with your son, and at the same time to be sensitive to the fact that he is a child, and there is a balance that needs to be struck for the sake of his well-being and sense of safety. 

Kids really gravitate toward honest answers, even when they’re tough answers. They seem to have a special radar for detecting when they’re not being given the whole truth, or when we as parents are nervous about talking to them about a tricky issue. So, I encourage you to give honest answers to your son’s questions, as much as you are able, tailored to the way he can best receive them (you know this best as his parent!). Don’t shy away from difficult topics, but make sure to follow his lead; only address the specific question he raises. You don’t have to answer questions that are not being asked, which could potentially open up new realms of fear for him. And if you don’t know the answer, be honest about that too. If you like, you can choose to tell him you’ll look into it and get back to him.

All of this honesty is great for building trust between you, but it’s important to remember that presentation matters! How could you present these truths in a way that helps your son to feel more secure, not less? What does he need to hear from you that will help reassure him of your love and dedication to keeping him safe? There are so many ways you can let him know that your love for him is constant, even in the midst of uncertainty.

What other things could you help your son focus on during the day that would help him feel more at ease? Perhaps there are certain relationships, activities, and places that make him feel more grounded in life. You can also talk with him about the fact that there are many good people and good things going on in the world these days too (it’s important for all of us to remember this!). Maybe the two of you can make it a project to search for pieces of news that focus on people who are bringing more good into the world, doing acts of kindness for others, being brave and standing up for what they believe. And to bring it all home, you can challenge your son to think about what he personally can do to add more goodness to the world. Getting into positive action can go a long way toward dispelling fears. It helps us realize that we have power and can make choices about our lives. Maybe this is just what your son needs.

I truly hope this is helpful to you, and that you find these ideas empowering and practical as you navigate these times with your family!

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Sarah encourages you to reach out to her with requests for advice! Please send your questions to advice@aflds.org

Sarah Perron is a Certified Transformational Life Coach. Her passion is to help people create a powerful vision for their lives, identify and eliminate anything that holds them back, and step into their own unique greatness and mission in the world. She believes deeply in the power of coaching to bring fresh perspectives, ideas, and motivation to anyone who wants to thrive in life. Sarah works with clients one-on-one and in group coaching programs and presents exciting workshops on self-development topics. You can follow her on her YouTube channel Find Your Fire.

You are invited to book a complimentary coaching call with Sarah! Please visit https://calendly.com/sarahperroncoaching/45min to choose a time that's convenient for you. She looks forward to meeting you!

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