November 14, 2010 – Well…a very stormy day in Singapore has blessed me with a few extra minutes to write to some of my most favorite people…PARENTS!!! I hope you do not think I have forgotten about our journey we are traveling together, because I most assuredly have NOT!!! Since we last met here online, I have now become the proud Mom of a fabulous 12 yr. old!! Because I love development so intensely, I’ve been watching, learning, and loving each new emerging characteristic as she wiggles and giggles into her 12 yr. role. I must say…GIGGLE in bold, as she is joyfully LOUD, and exuberant with new independence and self-possession like never before. This brings me to the concept of “loving out-loud!” I am not sure of your own auditory sensitivities, but mine are still being worked on as I am on round two of TLP (The Listening Program), and have benefited far more than I had ever imagined possible. Quite often we find our children using their loud voices for a variety of developmental and emotional reasons, it is critical for us to be able to discern these loud “seasons,” as we would not want to squelch their spirits or cause them to question our interest in their words/vocalizations!! Even when children are preverbal they often need to use loud sounds to feel powerful and “heard.” Trust me, it will not always be this way….but I’ve developed a strategy to join in the loudness, not in voice, but through LOVING ACTIONS!! As a general rule our cherubs are loud to get a need met, share a moment of interest, or share joy and fear. We want to equip ourselves to always be able to answer their “call” loud as it may be…in LOVE and deep valuing of their desire to COMMUNICATE with us. We must remember as co-authors, we can mold and shape, but we do not want to control their unique developmental patterns. So, you are reading patiently, asking…”What is this loving out-loud???” It is ALL about finding new, and a bit more zany ways to “answer” their loudness. It is letting go of outward appearances and judgments, and embracing the fact that your child has a purposeful and meaningful voice. It is “dropping everything,” in order to HEAR and respond for their highest good. By using this technique we will find a more inquisitive child emerge to find out, “who” is this new parent that is not shhhushing them, or using negative tones to quiet them. It is important in the moment to attend to their call with physical posture, such as sitting down right next to them, gazing into their amazing faces with expectancy to “hear” what they have to say….YES…now you remember ….their HEART WORDS!!!! Now…we are onto something BIG…If we can respond in LOVE as BIG as their loudness in joy, anger, sadness, frustration, and disappointment….IMAGINE the emotional balance we will be building as a part of their internal system!!! We are on our way to laying new pathways for self-regulation while continuing to support our cherubs to CLIMB their exciting, but sometimes difficult developmental ladders. Remember, we are not waiting for emotional turbulence to happen in the teen years….we are working now, even when they are infants to co-author emotionally balanced lives!! Are you ready and willing to Love out-loud??? (If you are in a “loud” season with a child approaching, or in pubery, do not panic….try the technique of attending with your body, but then usiing a soft voice or whisper in return…it is fun to watch their focused response, and you will stay in a calm space too!!) Off to do some more LOVING OUT-LOUD!!–DK