Sending our kids off to school used to be scary and sad in the way that we know they are growing up and we have to let go and let them. Now it's scary because we parents have to worry what horrible thing might happen while they are there.
After last week's latest school shooting I'm sure we are all holding our little ones a bit tighter than usual. And at the same time praying once again that this doesn't become the new normal.
But for many of our kids in school it has because they are being trained with active shooter drills. And although necessary in today's times, it's also heartbreaking that it has to be this way. And it must be having major mental and emotional effects on these kids. I was on my son's campus when they had a drill once and it was quite unsettling.
And with each incident the issues of gun violence and mental health come up for deeper consideration. As parents we can only do so much about the guns. But mental health is something we can support from an early age. And as an Astrologer, I can't help but ask the question. Can Astrology help save a life?
The tween and teen years are so traumatic as it is, with hormones, added responsibilities and trying to build independence, an identity, personal authority and strong sense of self-understanding and self-worth.
And as children move through these years, there is so much turmoil and conflict happening within their bodies and psyches, it can manifest as someone completely unidentifiable to their parents. I’ve heard this a lot from friends who have teens. And many parents dread this approaching phase.
I believe that Astrology and the awareness of my son's unique nature has served me immensely so far in understanding him and raising him with great compassion, consciousness and confidence. But will it be able to serve me through the tougher teen years? This is certainly my hope.
There are a couple of powerful transits that align with these years that I know can offer deeper insight into what is happening within our children. Jupiter return between 11-13, and Saturn opposition between 14-16. Knowing where in the chart these planets will be at these times might be able to offer important clues for how to best support them.
Psychological Astrology, Dr. Jennifer Freed writes in a wonderful article that the Jupiter return is a 2 year period that represents the potential of finding one's place in the family and community. And kids during this time are seeking sage advice about the meaning of their existence and why the are here.
And the Saturn opposition to the Natal Saturn represents discipline, authority, responsibility and maturity. Dr. Freed states that the shadow side of this can bring depression, righteousness, or resentment. And that during this time of building their inner authority, teens need to polish their verbal swords and learn how to be constructive in their defiance of norms instead of being either too complacent or too arrogant and carelessly rule-breaking.
So under these transits we can help by encouraging our children to explore and discover what actually brings them happiness. And also give them freedom to fail and practice building resilience, while helping them push through rather than quitting when things get hard. This can help establish healthy ways of achieving what they set out to do and hopefully avoiding too much rebellious and destructive behavior.
I just can't help but imagine that Astrology in the pockets of more parents couldn't serve to make a difference in the lives and futures of our children.
But if you're children are younger, like my son, I can't help but want to know what I can do now that might also make a difference then? And after thinking about it a bit I have a few thoughts.
First, I think laying a solid foundation for open and honest communication from the moment our children begin using language is a good first step. And it's never too late to do this. Communication is EVERYTHING because we want our children to feel like they can ask for help when they truly need it.
Second I believe in having honest, real conversations about life and death with our kids. Not to scare them, but to simply inform them and help them understand they are not alone, are normal to have dark thoughts or struggles within, that they have choices, and that we are always here to help when they need it and if they want it. Sheltering them from the harsher realities is our protective parental instinct I know, but I don't think in the long run it will serve them well.
And the last thing is, let go. Yes, stop, let go, do less for them and let them fall, fail and learn for themselves through experience more often while they are young so the can build resiliency. It's what we do when they are learning to walk, right? And even though we don't want them to hurt themselves, we also know that's the best way they can learn.
My son is 8 and my husband and I have had many talks with him about life and the natural struggles we all go through growing up. And I also work to instill within him self-compassion, kindness and acceptance of himself, others and our differences.
I continue to in my effort to use what I know of child development and Astrology to the best of my ability along the way and I have high hopes that Astrology can continue to be a significant resource in my parenting. But I am also being mindful and realistic because I know part of his journey is to struggle and go through tough times. That is life and part of each of our journeys on the path of personal growth, and self-discovery.
In a nutshell, Astrology or not, I think one of the most positive things we can do with each horrible incident like a school shooting that happens, is make sure the lines of trusted, honest, communication are wide open between us and our kids. And of course hug them as tight as we can and for as long as they will let us.
This latest school shooting was very close to home. I have friends and family who live in Santa Clarita and have kids who go to the neighborhood schools. My husband’s two nephews will attend Saugus high next year.
My heart goes out to every parent and family from Columbine to Sandy Hook to Santa Clarita and everywhere in between who have had to directly experience, morn and attempt to heal from a tragedy like a school shooting. I will never be able to wrap my brain around it or accept it in my heart as normal. Hugs and healing to each and every one of you.
Nurture the Nature - For your well Being!
Click here to read a great article, Planetary Help...On Teenagers, on the above mentioned two transits from Psychological Astrologer, Dr. Jennifer Freed. She talks about the transition from childhood to adolescence and how Astrology can be a road map for parents during this significant time. And Dr. Freed gives great tips and insight for when this time comes that I truly believe can help every parent.
Live and Learn Astrology