I wish I could remember where I read this so I could give them full credit, but alas I’m a chronic sufferer of mummy brain and the cells are struggling right now. (If you know maybe you could drop me a line :)) Children are tropistic. They grow in the direction of the light and attention – and those things that are ignored in childhood don’t develop. In case, like me, you didn’t automatically twig onto what tropistic means here is the definition of tropism from the Oxford Dictionary Online. Tropism: the turning of all or part of an organism in a particular direction in response to an external stimulus. (Heat, gravity or light). Obviously it usually refers to plants – but it’s pretty easy to see how it could relate to our kids.
These words have been playing around in my brain a bit over the past few weeks – on a couple of different fronts. But what has really got me thinking is the notion that things which are ignored in childhood don’t develop. That could be a good thing when it comes to some forms of attention seeking behaviour, but what about when our kids have to turn and change their natural form or shape to reach for the love they need to grow? What things within them don’t develop when they’re not showered with love, patience and other good child rearing techniques? How does this change the person they’re growing to be? And then there is a deeper level. What things inside ourselves have not grown or developed because of our upbringing? Deep concept I know – with much room for pondering.
But on a positive and comforting note what a beautiful image to hold in your heart as a parent. To think of your child growing straight and tall, secure in the knowledge that they are fully loved and blooming as they grow. Even though we don’t get it right every single time, we can provide what they need in the right balance to fully develop and flourish. And if we have missed the mark in the past it’s never to late to start pouring the attention on (or off). All this pondering on tropism has made to re-think my parental role a little and I like where it has led me and the imagery it has put in my brain. I think it helps me be a better and more aware parent. And that can’t be bad.