I have a hand-out – a coloring sheet, actually- displaying multiple rays extending from a round sun – and above the sun, block letters that read “Let the sunshine in”.
I’ve offered this occasionally to parents as a simple exercise in changing their focus. I ask them to write their child’s name in the sun, and in the nine rays, think of all the special, lovely things about their child – funny, kind, loving, creative, sensitive, smart.
One time, meeting with a mom and dad who I already knew were feeling somewhat defeated with their 6-year-old’s behavior, I offered this sheet to them to complete before we began talking about their concerns.
By the time they finished completing their exercise, there were tears in their eyes. They realized how much they had missed these past weeks – focusing solely on what was wrong rather than the strengths that were so readily part of their son.
And so that turned out to be the perfect place to begin our conversation – to understand what might be happening with their son to cause the behaviors they were noticing.
I love that exercise. It’s such an eye-opener for whomever we are in a relationship with – or just our lives in general. What are the strengths we see and know are there?
A good way to let the sun shine in.