Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Space and Place

I believe that young people need to have space and place made for them...

They need to be shown their strengths and abilities by an adult who gives them opportunities to utilize those strengths and abilities.
They need to have space to make mistakes and fail without condemnation but gentle guidance which never shames.
They need to have the space to say they want a hug or don't want a hug (or snuggles, cuddles, what have you), but realize the offer is always on the table.
They need to have a place where they know they can expect the affirmation and love and affection they need to keep going, especially when they are questioning themselves.
They need to have the space to be over the top excited and completely inside themselves.
They need a place where they can be as strong or as weak as they need to be in that moment, a place where they can just be.
They need space where their boundaries are respected, not because of their sexuality or based on it, but because they are human.
They need a place where they see boundaries being stated, enforced and lived.
They need space to have their big feelings.
They need a place where their changing bodies, emotions, and hormones won't freak someone out, where they won't be treated differently.

Because our society is so out of balance:
Boys should be treated with extra tenderness and affection (extra being "more than society might prescribe"). We want them to have a deep well to draw from when they interact with others as they grow and as adults.
Girls and boys should be corrected gently so they understand that corrections aren't an assessment or condemnation of their character, but an understanding that as imperfect humans we are bound to be corrected and it is a help to us.
Girls need to be given an extra voice (extra being "more than our society might prescribe") with clear examples in boundaries and expectations. We want them to have the skills they need to be strong people where they are often assumed weak.

Another thing, I believe that affectionate (including, but not limited to hugs, kisses, pats, tickles, back rubs, sitting close with bodies touching....) behaviour should be a way of life. Always, they should have the freedom to step back or express their discomfort, but I think always they should expect that they "will receive" warmth and closeness when it comes to physical affection.

Wise words from a lovely friend of mine. 

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