Early in the school year I was called into the school, one call of the many I get. My son was sitting at a desk in the hallway with the teacher, assistant teacher and the principal standing over him explaining and setting out step by step how to write a paragraph on a topic (Grade 6 level). I got the low down of what was going on, he wasn’t able to start or keep going with his writing. He had only written two sentences in over 30 minutes. The teacher disappeared into the classroom with the assistant teacher and the principal told me word for word what he had explained to my son, who looked bewildered and like a deer in the headlights with 3 adults talking at him. I don’t recall my son being asked a question except to produce a ‘right answer’. After the principal left I went over to my son and asked him what’s going on and said simply, “they are asking too much, I can’t do it, I suck”.
“Can I run your Bars?” I asked.
I run his Bars and his body relaxes, his head comes up off the desk, and all the heaviness of not being able to meet all those expectations began to blow off. He sighs, his mood lightens up, I don’t say anything, just hold his Bars. I don’t try to tell him what he has to do, I don’t ask him why he can’t or isn’t doing the work, I don’t console him or make it right or better, I don’t speculate on his ability to do the work or not, I don’t pep talk him into ‘you can do it’, or what to do next time. I just run his Bars. And he starts talking about his writing topic. And then he starts writing …
Running Bars isn’t a cure for Learning Disabilities, ADHD, OCD and all the rest. Running Bars relaxes the body, relaxes the mind, dissipates the ‘I suck’, ‘I can’t do it’, ‘I’m useless’, ‘I’m letting everyone down’ emotions and thoughts that prevent children from starting or continuing with the task they are doing. Running Bars creates the ease and space for them to put pieces of the puzzle together without being overwhelmed by all the information at once. It lifts the cloud they are trying to think through and allows them to access the information, other possibilities, choices and awareness they know is there, somewhere.
My son used to take an hour to start his homework with a tsunami of anger, hopelessness, despair, anxiety and self-hatred, with the Bars this changed to starting homework in 10 to 15 minutes with minimal frustration and keeping on track with what he is doing. Each time I ran his Bars while he’s in the “mood” or stressed and under pressure the less intense these behaviours would show up next time. And yes, this works on husbands and partners.
Often we can’t see what is right about our ADHD, OCD, LD, etc, children when we are inundated with everything that is wrong or will go wrong with them. We are told they have a higher risk of suicide, drug addiction, dropping out of school, teenage pregnancy, run ins with the law, social problems and more. I’m wondering if the statistics are not so much about the label than they are about the low self esteem that comes with not meeting expectations and the projections of the constant failure that is emphasized everyday around them?
How much of others fears of the future is projected at them? A little? A lot? These children have ‘spiderman’ senses for what others think about them or would like them to be or do. They know they have failed in others minds and expectations before they have even started. And yes, I’m mad (a potency) about the emotional well-being of these children now that I know something else is possible. I’ve seen it with my own eyes and not just with my son, with adults, with my son’s friends who I run Bars on when they are ‘wigging out’ or having a meltdown at my house. I’ve had tutors, teachers and friends comments about how much my son has changed, how much older than his years he is, what an amazing sense of self he has, and man, is he funny!!
I’m not looking for grades or work production, I’m running his Bars, asking him questions to create self-awareness without self-immolation; if you choose this or that, what will create more for you? What does work for you? What do you know about what works for you? How do you make this fun for you? What do you require right now to complete this? What information are you missing or looking for that will get this moving forward again? My target is to continue to generate and create self-awareness for myself and my children about what does work for them and how wonderfully talented they truly are, even if there is no grading system for that … you know, that could be because it’s infinite.
Louise is a Certified Access Consciousness Facilitator based in British Columbia, Canada.
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