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Do we spot the wisdom in our children?

Updated: Aug 15, 2023

Or do we live a life so fast we often innocently miss it?


I’ve had the privilege to work with a young lad, aged nine, at his primary school in the UK.

In a reasonably short space of time his behaviour had changed from outgoing and fun to introverted, overly anxious and unable to leave his mother’s side.


This change in his behaviour followed witnessing domestic violence at home and violence against himself. His younger sibling was not involved but this lad, let’s call him Danny, became highly protective of his mum and sibling; even though the violent parent was no longer at the house and all access had been removed.


His mum was no longer able to go out without him, he panicked every time she got into a car to drive

anywhere – including work. Plus, he could no longer go to stay with his beloved grandparents, who only live a few streets away, because he was sure that it was a trick and that he’d be sent to his father’s house – even thought this was never suggested.


In our first session we kept it light-hearted and I sat and listened to him describing his fears and worries ... given what he had witnessed they sounded quite reasonable.


However, he told me that he didn’t want his life to be this way and he wanted to be free of all this “overthinking” (his words) and live “like a normal nine-year-old”.


His wisdom was already shining out – or, if you know my book and the beautiful metaphor of the sun and the clouds, his sunshine seemed dazzling!


We played with a bubble pot that day and he loved chasing and popping the bubbles, which we decided

were thoughts popping all on their own. They just pop, just like thoughts do, even when we try to keep a

bubble whole it still pops eventually.



Towards the end of this first session, we played Hangman before he went back to class. This image above is his sentence for me to guess: “I believe in myself”. Wisdom. He could see that he had whatever he needed to see though the overthinking he was currently experiencing.


Throughout our time together, we played games, did lots of drawing, chased bubbles and chatted; always looking towards wellbeing and the knowing that it is within us, even when we seem unable to feel it.


We started to talk about it being like a hammock holding us up and then Danny got excited. He said “Oh! the Hammock of Wellbeing is a cocoon holding us safe and sound, even though we have all these upset and angry thoughts in our head, the hammock is still keeping us safe.”


Yes! If that isn’t wisdom, I don’t know what is! He drew this lovely picture of the hammock.



At the end of the sessions his mum wrote: “The work Marie has done is truly amazing! Since seeing her he has stayed at his grandparents, overnight and loved it. He's recently run a charity stall on his own, I was not even in the building- this would not have happened even 2 months ago.


He seems to really take onboard what Marie says to him so however she does it, it works! She has managed to build his trust so that he is listening to her and believing what she says, this is something we've struggled with as he just wouldn't believe anyone when they tried to reassure him and help him.”


But here’s what I think: I enabled the space for him to feel relaxed and listened to, enough for him to feel he could safely open up. Before any readers of this blog suggest I’m doing myself a disservice; I’m not intending to. Enabling this space and connection is vital for a young lad like Danny (or anyone of any age) and to help him see his world differently through an insight; an Oh! or an Aha! moment.


But he did the hard work. He heard a deeper, intuitive message letting him know he could let go of the fear and worry. He could see for himself that the threat of having to visit his dad was based on his own

thought/feelings passing through, which he held onto as being true.


He saw for himself that his mum drives her car every day and, so far, has always come home safely. He also saw for himself that the energy he put into worrying about her car crashing in the future (his What Ifs) felt painful and exhausting. He thought he was being protective, loving and caring but he realised it was more like confusion and overwhelm.


He saw that the fear of being tricked by his loved ones into having to see his dad was also something he was innocently making up – no one was suggesting it so where did that come from? He saw this as more thought bubbles which naturally pop when left alone. He saw there was no truth to the threats unless he believed there was. Now, when the fear pops back up he says he waits to see what happens next instead of flying off the handle.


He saw the Hammock of Wellbeing, not me. But I’m going to use it in the future because it’s a beautiful way of explaining that wisdom and wellbeing isn’t just with us always; it IS us – and we are it.

He listened, not just to me but far more importantly, to himself. He had the answers already and we played in a space together where he could hear what that deeper intuitive voice was saying.


That’s the joy of this work.


Danny has given me permission to share his drawings.

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