What Can I Do To Help You?

How often do you say this?  Lately I have been very mindful  and conscious to make this offering to people. Regardless of how busy I am, when I ask this of people I actually feel a lightness to our conversation.  I see their bodies relax.  Its like a fun and meaningful way to say to someone, “I care about you and want to make you an offer that will make your life easier.”  It also helps people pinpoint exactly what they need help with. Or it can make them realize they are just complaining, which might be helpful to them.)

This simple sentence says and does so much. Of course helping someone get a task done is great, it helps them organize exactly what they need in specifics, and helps them let go of thinking they can do it all, which is a control issue.  When this question is asked of a parent, it doesn’t necessarily mean childcare.  Many parents I work with automatically assume their biggest issue to need help is babysitting their child.  I have asked this of parents, and suggested picking up specific groceries or paper goods,  bare necessities for the home, going out to get the mail, finishing the laundry etc.   All the supports that make a home run smoothly are ways to help.

Maybe you already make these offers.  Be aware of how you physically feel when you say this.  Taking a deep breath and look at the person with prolonged eye contact. This  lets the other person know you mean what you say and you say what you mean.

A great idea is asking your child, at their eye level, “I see you are having a hard time, is there anything I can do to help you?”  Watch their reaction.  What do you see? How do you feel when you say this to your child?  You will be kindly surprised that your child will return this sentence to you when you need it most.

I remember I was teaching preschool at a head start. There was a “challenging” child, who would hurt his friends and act out outrageously, dump yogurt on another child’s head, rip books, push the lunch cart into children etc.  Oh I had such a special love for this child’s jacket as I saw him walking out the door at the end of the day;)  One day he pulled the computer monitor on to the floor. The other children all looked at me, and three were brave and came to me and asked, “what can I do to help you?”  I am grateful for the boy who broke the  monitor, just to have the three children show me that what I do as a teacher is helping create better people in this world.

Namaste, and thank you for reading,                                                                                                           Shane

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