Kids and comfort zones

The recent storms were challenging weren’t they!

And I don’t even have to work out in it like some of the people I see on the land.

I can go out in it if I wish – or not. My work is otherwise snug and comfy at the computer in the warm.

However, I did dash out in it at times, pushed myself out in the ripping storms and battalions of wet that blasted across the flatlands, one after the other. I ran from hedge to hedge whilst the worst passed over, coveting a bit of shelter for a while like the rabbits do judging by the droppings. The dog has got wise to this strategy and butts up to a bush with a miserable face, not understanding the value of pushing past the comfort line sometimes.

But I know it’s the best remedy for Indooritus. That disease which sludges up the soul when I’m shut inside, inactive, inert, for far too long.

Pushing beyond always being comfy develops so many parts of us we wouldn’t give it credit for, even confidence. It gives us different experiences, stimuli, sensations, which arouse parts of us which may go unused. You know what they say; use it or lose it. That goes for brain, muscles, heart, all organs and all senses.

And pushing ourselves through a bit of challenging discomfort is an example to the children that it is sometimes worth it. For, as parents, we spend quite a lot of our time following the opposite path.

It is the nature of our parenting to care and cherish. Feed and shelter. Protect and provide. Always look to their comfort, naturally, since they were babies, from their warm fed tummies to their shiny shod toes. We see to their needs, answer their demands, pander to their whims. Of course we do. Mums are genetically primed to do so; we almost can’t help it. We want them to be safe, happy, snug. Why on earth then, should we ever make them uncomfortable?

Well, the reason is that uncomfortable is going to be pushing their boundaries a bit, showing them parts of themselves that they maybe hadn’t known. Giving them opportunities for achieving things they never thought they could. And the consequence of achievement – whatever it is and however small – is feeling good. Building confidence.

It may not seem like it at the time. But sometimes we have to do the deeds for the feelings later.

It doesn’t have to be going out in a gale, although that’s very stimulating. It could be eating different

Nipped out at a time of day I'd usually be comfy indoors and was rewarded with a sight I normally miss - moonrise!

Nipped out in the descending dark when I’d usually be comfy indoors and was rewarded with a stirring sight that made it worth it – moonrise!

food, trying a new activity or exercise, meeting new people, going out at a time you wouldn’t normally, walking a different route, switching off the technology for a day! Examine your comfort routines and break out of them on occasion.

My cheeks were chilled and my clothes were wet by the time I got back in – and I was certainly glad to do so. But my soul was singing and excited. I rarely feel like that when I’m still. Or doing the same thing in the same way, day after day.

And it’s so worth showing your kids that pushing out from comfortable will on occasion make their soul sing too!

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10 thoughts on “Kids and comfort zones

  1. Thanks Ross, it’s like this post was written just for me today. My son has aspergers and high anxiety levels. It’s can feel so much easier to keep him in his comfort zone sometimes for all of us. But I know it won’t help in the long term with showing him his strength. We have some plans in the next few days which are going to push us out of our comfort zones and I have been feeling nervous and concerned about whether it’s the right thing to do! Your post was just the support I needed as usual. Thank you 😊

    • That’s delightful to hear Clare. All the best with your plans – stick to your convictions – even if it doesn’t exactly go to plan everyone will have learned something! And if you felt like popping back and telling us how it went, feel free!

      • Well we did it and it was great! We managed a day trip to London and I also had an evening out with friends. Both things that we used to do all the time but haven’t done for a long while because of the anxiety it has been causing my eldest. It’s been a hard couple of weeks dealing with the overstimulation from it all but so worth it to see his confidence grow and his anxiety lessen. No looking back now 😊

      • Well done Clare! Great news! Gives you such a buzz doesn’t it? I actually just wrote a post about listening to my own advice on comfort zones and got the buzz too!

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