Living in the Imaginarium: When I convinced River he had a tail
Doing my best with my kids meant that I would have to find the confidence to not seek advice.
With college, new jobs, and art I found a mentor; just someone I could trust to help guide me and make sure I was making the best use of my energy and talents. There is a security in having someone help in that way. But when it comes to raising kids I suggest that if the parent has something special to offer even if it is contrary to social guidelines- give them that gift.
Often I go down the rabbit hole of imagination with my son. Sometimes I ask myself “is it better to let him know that this picture of him is photoshoped and he didn’t really have a tail” or “I can tell he’s getting scared but wants another story about The Trashbag Witch”. We sleep in the same bed with his hundred pound dog, he feels safe at night. The nightmares probably won’t get him so I continue on about the Trashbag Witch and the Happy Red Monster with the Guitar. He sees I’m not afraid of my mind and I believe he’s not afraid of his. I tell friends- if you can follow it to the end, then parent in a way that utilizes your specialness over what you were taught.
Example- Tell him the stories that stimulate his mind as long as you can make sure they feel safe in some other way.
While on the subject of sleep- I never sleep trained River. I never trained him to do anything really. Our dogs aren’t trained either. River and Roosevelt (dog) used to eat from the same plate. We threw away the template because we believed we could do better with our skill set.
So River thinks he had a tail because he was being bad so I photoshoped a picture rather than yelling at him. Everyone has a way. In most everything I’d take a social perspective over an individual one but in our case as parents we support the gift of spirit over structure - not because it’s better but because it’s what we are good at.