There’s a prophylactic medicine bundle for the disaffected child, homeopathic in its dosage, with a recommendation for daily applications.
Song: Fill your family days with song. Croon your baby to sleep with a lullabye. Make a family anthem from the tunes of your ancestry. Hum along with the radio as you sweep the floors. Gather your family around the couch for a singalong.
Dance: If the rhythm moves you, dance. Hug your child and boogey together. Invite other families to a late night disco. When strife racks your home, bring out the drums and gather around a beat. Move your bodies and loosen your judgements. And if the rhythm doesn’t move you, dance anyway.
Story: Cultivate storytelling. Enjoy sharing rich anecdotes from the past with each other. Remember when things were different from today. Gather in the evening and share your most enlivening stories of the day. And learn to discipline your child through apt tales that fold her into mystery and ambivalence and the balm of wonder.
Sacred ritual: Ritual is communal creativity. Gather people in, with the invitation to welcome surprise, share vulnerabilities, and a join together in a moment with the unknown. It may be to celebrate the spring equinox. It may be to share your sorrows for the duress our culture visits on nature. Whatever call you heed, create rituals that honor your shared love of life.
Prayer: Let your most heartfelt desires ride on the tremble of your voice and the vibrations of your body. Speak out loud to creation as you shake free from your shackles. Adress a tree together with your innermost desires for its health. Find your own ways to observe the presence of everything that isn’t you, and humbly acknowledge your indebtedness to its being here.
These are time-honored cultural remedies for rolling with the wobbles of life.
The side-effect of having regular doses of these five tonics may be that your child’s spirit soars into boundless expansive joy, or she dives deep into her soulful need to belong here and now.
When life tumbles her, as it will, and gets her into a rut, she will have these creative pills to fortify her well-being.