I have been letting the kids figure out for themselves what they need to do without interfering in their process.
Funny thing is that I thought I was already doing this, however when i REALLY let go, I discovered something pretty incredible ,,, how much I DID interfere! lol.
So, for instance going for a walk used to mean that we all had to go, as it was best to get outside and get some exercise. But this past winter, I was met with Such resistance, that the giant pit in my stomachache telling me that forcing the issue was NOT a good idea, allowed me the opportunity to let go a little more. Sometimes I would insist on going outside, only to have my 10 yr old plunk herself down in front of the door with arms crossed saying, I AM NOT GOING. Or sometimes not anybody getting outside at all until it was too dark/rainy/cold/miserable to go outside., which led to a considerable amount of unhappiness on everyone's part!
What happened from this was that I got to enjoy the walks in the forest in full appreciation of the plants and forest smells and sounds! The kids got the freedom to choose what was best for them while they were home.
I have also learned what it means to really really let them decide what is best in terms of how they spend their time, being watching fun dvd's ( over and over), playing games on computer, reading, painting, playing other games, or whatever they choose.
This often means another High School Musical 3 dancing session while the movie plays, or talking about WHY the shows on Family channel ( that you can find on Youtube.. sigh) are really just junk food for the brain, and how eating 3 pounds of apples in the morning is great, however, leave at least ONE for each other person in the house, so we all can share.
(but Mommy,,, I can't help it,, the apples are just TOO good! ) This was solved by buying 9 pounds of apples every couple of days, so everyone does get some!
I am grateful beyond measure for this chance to do this.. and see how each person in our family has their own internal guidance system for what they want to do. Even if I don't agree with their choice, does it mean it is the wrong thing for them to do ?
When they are motivated to do something that I wanted them to do,, like go outside, zoom,, off they go! ( just like in the Robert Munsch book Thomas's Snowsuit!). Or if they are hungry, we try to work together making things that everyone will eat. If that is too much, then the person who is still hungry, and says NO to all the choices offered or what is in the house then, can find out what is good for them and make that, for themselves.. or even for sharing too. ( Even the youngest who is 5 can do that!).
I feel like watching it all unfold is incredible... and sometimes that incredible is that I have LET it happen, allowing them the freedom to be who they are.. and the freedom of allowing ME to be who I am too.