From Frustration to Freedom: A Mother and Son's Journey Through Education and Empathy

As I leaned forward in my chair, trying to navigate a virtual high school, I could feel the desperation mounting inside of me. I needed to get a program installed so my son could do his homework, but the computer set up was unfamiliar to me, the mouse was super sensitive, the type on the screen was smaller than my eyes could easily read, and the screen was positioned so I had to look up at it. The strain on my neck tightened by the moment.

"Relax, Mom," my son said gently, noticing how tense I was. "It doesn't have to be so hard. Take a deep breath and let go of the stress."

I took a moment to really hear him and looked into his face. He had grown so much since we began homeschooling him. We had chosen this path because public and private schools didn't meet his unique needs, and we wanted to be able to empower him to learn and grow at his own pace. It wasn't always easy, though. He experienced high anxiety and sensory processing difficulties, and I had to learn how to support him through it all.

Together, we used the tools of resonant empathy, presence, and neuroscience to remain in relationship with each other. We communicated using nonviolent communication and interpersonal neurobiology, holding a mutual intention for heart connection. Our relationship always came first, and strategies naturally emerged later.

We even spent time with our horses, riding together and using them to learn more about ourselves and how to relate to others. Our journey together had been an incredible one, and now, as we navigated virtual high school, my son was modeling a way of being in relationship with himself and others that I could only dream of when I was his age.

In that moment, I recognized how my past experiences were driving my thinking and behavior. The internal dialogue in my head was telling me that I had to get it right, that I was stupid, that I didn't belong here. But with my son's help, I was able to acknowledge those thoughts and release them, finding a sense of peace and relaxation that I hadn't felt in a long time.

This experience made me think about how often I, as a parent, had let my own experiences and struggles become entangled with my child's. But by learning to hear that inner voice with warmth and compassion, I could loosen its grip on my nervous system and find more choice in the moment. I was grateful for this journey with my son and for the ways in which it had taught me to be present and mindful in my own life.

Our journey may not have been easy, but it was worth it. And as I reflect on our experiences, I realize that our story is not unique. As parents, we all face challenges and struggles that can be difficult to navigate. Yet, by approaching those challenges with empathy, connection, and mindfulness, we can learn and grow alongside our children, creating a bond that will last a lifetime.


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