Thanks to a reader for this question:
I must write in about an incident which has left my friend in a shocked state. Her little six year old boy, along with two of his friends aged 5 and 4, walked out of the apartment complex on to the crowded street and were only stopped by a security guard when they were over a mile away from home and brought back. In the meantime, the parents and others were frantically looking for the boys. After the little drama, the little boy says he knows the roads and he can go by himself. He feels his mum and dad go out alone and so can he. Karen, would you please throw light on how such situations may be handled. You want your child to make his choices and follow his inner guidance but you do want him to be safe too. Please help me understand this.
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The question brought to mind (now) laughable incidents when I used to try to corral my exceedingly adventurous toddler son. Joel would find ways to escape out the back screen door by dragging a chair over to the door, climbing up, and unhooking the hook-and-eye latch. We then installed a hook-and-eye near the top of the door, so he couldn't reach it from a chair. So I was shocked one day to hear the customary banging sound of the screen door. Joel was off and running again, having grabbed a broom from the porch and used the handle to poke and release the latch.
I ran like a track star to catch up with him, for he had reached the street and was running as fast as his little legs would carry him -- right down the middle! After that we installed a more secure lock on the back porch door, and then he began to figure out the front door lock! (Joel's now 28 and expecting his first child. Pay-back time! Ha.)
Joel's antics were mild, though, compared to an incident some dear friends of mine experienced with their granddaughter when she was 4. She was staying overnight at some friends' house in rural Indiana, about a mile away from her home, and woke up in the middle of the night and decided to walk home. So she did -- at midnight, by herself, down the side of a busy highway! Imagine her parents' surprise when she woke them up to say she was home.
There are two important things to take away from incidents such as these: 1) Kids are natural adventurers and 2) WELL-BEING ABOUNDS.
Well-being is the absolute name of the game in this Universe, and the only way...the ONLY way...the ONLY WAY we can experience not-well-being is by focusing on danger and feeling vulnerable.
I know that flies in the face of everything we've believed for so many years, and it's going to take some time to re-orient ourselves to this new way of thinking. But as we release thoughts of vulnerability, we will watch ourselves thrive in unprecedented ways.
As far as teaching this new way of thinking to our children, well, they already know it to the extent that it hasn't been drummed out of them. As we live with an attitude of security and well-being, what they already know will be utterly reinforced in them by our example.
Regarding the example of the three young children and their mile-walk from the apartment complex, I have a feeling that they now know from their parents' reactions not to repeat that! And as tempting as it would be for the parents to use this incident to tell the children about all the scary, awful things that could have happened to them when they took off on their adventure, the less said about that, the better. It is never in a child's best interest to teach them to feel vulnerable. It is never in a child's best interest to teach them that this is a scary world populated by some bad people who could harm them.
From listening to news reports, we have, of course, gained the impression of a frightening world. But all the problems, pain, and awfulness in the world would be a momentary blip on the screen if we were to actually witness a the proportion of well-being and not-well-being.
Here's Abraham speaking on October 14, 2006, in Washington, D.C.:
"We say, when you start, segment by segment, experience by experience, reaching for a better feeling thought, reaching for a better feeling thought, reaching for a better feeling thought, reaching for a better feeling thought....
"Before you know it, on every subject that is active within you, you're over here in alignment with Source. And now you are a bright beam of well-being everywhere you go. Which means murderers could never find you, even people who are rude in traffic cannot find you, even people who aren't attentive in a hotel can't find you. In other words, when you are in alignment with the [happy] you that you have become, only that which is a match to what you have become can come to you. And anything less than that is a symptom of your scattered -- we love you -- sloppy thought!"
I think of the song "Teach Your Children Well" by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. We could change the "Well" to "Well-Being."
We teach it by living it. And we can start this very minute.
Grandma and Joel - 1983 - he naps after yet another escapade