What happened when I felt off-centre at Mish Mash today?

Off-centre is often something that parents have to contend with when their little one is having a rough day and coming to a class:

  • They’re dropping their nap but are still really really needing it
  • They’ve arrived sporting a massive black eye from a climbing expedition on the sofa for the two seconds you’d turned your back to look after their baby sister.
  • They’re devastated that they had to drop their big brother (and partner in crime) at school this morning
  • Or grandma at the airport…
  • The rice cake is broken…
  • The stick they loved the MOST got dropped on the way to the group
  • They have NO IDEA why they’re sad/grouchy/needing extra hugs today…

Of course, as you’ll know if you have a little one, the list is endless.

These were just a small selection of the real things that parents shared with me in the last 2 days at Mish Mash alone!

The job of being little is to make sense of how the world is, and their place in it.  Many seemingly ‘small things’ bring big feelings that require so much support and love of the big people around them.   

It takes bravery to bring our children to spaces to make music (or just be) with other kids, even though we know they will love the connection and creativity involved, because we literally have no idea what they are going to do!

Current thinking points to the idea  that spaces for little ones need to be ones that support them to know they are welcome to be themselves however they are feeling. 

Knowing that the world is a safe place that they can explore with confidence and free from fear is a key to happiness.

Even into their teens,  (and I suspect, for all of our lives) people learn better when they are feeling safe, secure and accepted https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/01/10/16environment.h32.html

As well as guitar, African drums, flutes and great songs, what’s also needed for a baby class, is a big heap of ‘come as you are’ and ‘you are supported here’.

This morning however, it was ME that was feeling off-centre!

Luckily, something about making live music together is a bit magical for rough days… whether it’s kids or grown ups.  Music does amazing things!  I’ve heard this so often in my classes.  And I allowed myself to remember that everyone deserves a whole heap of ‘come as you are.’ including me!    And sure enough, the wobbly place melted.

Have a beautiful day, and hope you find spaces to play in with your little one where you both feel really at home.

They are out there!