Welcome to Holland 🌹Mar 01, 2022
Welcome to Holland!
Like it or not, we assume (unwritten) obligations when we sign up to be Parents. A biggie, one that is a big factor in raising emotionally healthy children, is to actively teach our children how to identify, communicate, and manage each emotion as they are experienced. Because this is not an in-born skill, how else should they learn if we don’t teach them?
Successful parents should go to sleep at night knowing that they’ve given their children a roadmap and specific guidelines of how to manage each emotion. (Click here to buy Our Virtual Course - literally what you need to help you teach your kids!)
We must teach our (selves and our) children that emotions are a powerful part of life – and we should not be afraid of feeling something uncomfortable. Because.
And the more we are in touch with how we are feeling, and know how to process that feeling in a healthy way, the more enjoyable (and, at times, tolerable) life will be.
Let’s meet the emotion of Disappointment.
Disappointment is the emotion we feel when we are expecting A, but B happens. There is an expectation attached to this emotion. Someone acted “less than”. Or something went wrong and what we were expecting to happen, did not happen. That is disappointment.
Disappointment can range in intensity - from a child coming out of bed in the middle of the night for the 3rd time, to not receiving your instacart order in time to prepare supper, to not getting into the yeshiva/seminary/school of our dreams, to not getting the job you’ve spent years preparing for … to [insert your biggest disappointment here].
Sometimes, life throws us for a really huge loop. And we end up in a place that we never intended or wanted to be. And, one of the most disappointing parts is that our future - as we envisioned it - is taken away from us. “I never thought my life would turn out this way” is the mother of all plot twists. When life doesn't go as we wished, the dreams of our future can fall apart with it.
There is a necessary grieving process (which we’ve discussed in a previous newsletter). But, after that grief – if we remain stuck in our vision and in our hopes of how we expected it to be, we risk losing out on the new opportunities that await us.
Emily Perl Kingsley was a writer for Sesame Street for 45 years. In 1974, Emily gave birth to her son Jason. Jason was born with Down’s Syndrome. And, as expressed in her writing below, Emily experienced the height of Disappointment. Expecting A, and getting B.
Thirteen years after Jason was born, in 1987, Emily penned the essay “Welcome to Holland.” This essay is enjoyed by so many people, even decades after writing it.
Because…actually, you should read it and you will see why!
It is applicable to everyone. (I couldn’t hold in the answer)
Since, inevitably, we all will experience Disappointment. Both big and small.
WELCOME TO HOLLAND
by: Emily Perl Kingsley c1987
I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.
P.S. Shoutout to Miriam Holland! Best. Producer!
BECOME THE BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF TODAY!
… AND TEACH YOUR CHILDREN WHAT THEY NEED TO KNOW!
SOCIAL SKILLS MADE SIMPLE. Was created to be every parent’s guide to teaching their children about every emotion and how to identify, manage and communicate their emotions in a healthy and productive way. This information will give your children the best chance at success in every way! Self awareness is the key to a successful, emotionally healthy life! Start teaching your children young, but it is never too late to start.