The Canary In the Coal Mine

by Scott Noelle

Long ago, coal miners avoided death by bringing canaries into the mines. The sensitive songbirds would react to small amounts of toxic gases, thereby alerting the miners to the invisible danger.

In a way, our children provide a similar service. We’ve been so conditioned to tolerate stress that we often fail to seek relief from it, but our sensitive children have no such tolerance. They often feel our stress before we do!

So when your child seems particularly irritable and reactive, it’s a good idea to ask yourself whether s/he might be reflecting your stress. Check in with your body and emotions, and let yourself feel what’s there.

Seek the fresh air of soothing, stress-free thoughts, and then bless your child for keeping you in touch with your Inner Guidance.

Originally published on 2007-08-01
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