Prior to bringing kids into the world my husband and I were living a great life – travelling and eating in great restaurants for close to eleven years. When we decided to have kids, we wanted to make sure we were congruent in our health beliefs and our health education. The first place we noticed incongruency was in health language words like “sickness” and “I caught something”. We don’t use the words “sick” or “sickness” or “I caught…” for ourselves so why would we use those words to educate our kids on health. So, one of the very first places we started was with language and words. We wanted to use words that would be empowering rather than confusing and fear driven.
Personally, we see our kids as self-healing, self-regulating and self-regenerating human beings who are constantly adapting to their environment. And because of this acknowledgement we have borne witness to each of our kids creating unique opportunities to help them grow – physically (move), chemically (eat) and emotionally (think). They have created fevers, rashes, worms, lice, diarrhoea, abrasions, sprains, coughs, colds, cuts, headaches, fevers, concussions, bee and wasp stings and so forth. The difference is in what we do and how we explain what might be going on that makes all the difference to them embracing their unique opportunity.
The first word I reframed was ‘sickness.’ I asked myself what would be an empowering alternate substitute word or phrase. I didn’t want our kids to think of themselves as being sick but instead think of themselves as expressing health differently when those sick times arose. So, in the very early 2000’s I coined the term ‘health expression’ to replace ‘sickness’. This term is now used by individuals, parents, grad parents and health professionals around the world and I couldn’t be happier!
Sickness refers to “a state of being ill” and health expression I define as the ability to make the whole self-known to the self. In other words, to see the benefit and the drawback from whatever is being expressed. Using the term health expression removes the negative connotation of the word sickness, which implies you’re ill which implies that your body has got it wrong, it’s suffering—happened to you—when, in fact, your body is attempting to do the best it can given whatever has been created and send specific messages (signs/symptoms) it wants to alert you to – physically (move), chemically (eat) and emotionally (think).
We have observed over the years that there is a great deal of further discussion and discovery available with our kids when we focus on the creation of a health expression. We discuss how well the body is working and how much stronger their bodies will be for the effort it is making in creating a more supportive environment. We also ask them where in their lives they feel the health expression will serve the greatest.
The creation of a health expression has also allowed us to address pain in a very different way to most families. How we perceive pain, which is a central component of the allopathic approach to health, is pivotal to how we then respond to others and of course heal our self. Our kids have not anchored an association of victim to their pain, discomfort and/or signs and symptoms; rather they simply allow themselves to have an experience of a health expression. They don’t ask us to give them something to take something away, that process is not in their psyche. They do, however, ask for water, a cuddle, or for something to eat, to lie down and of course they ask if they can get adjusted—not because something is wrong but because everything is right. We adjust our kids every Friday morning and have done so since they were minutes old, regardless of what is being expressed.
Many people have asked us, ‘What do you do when your child is screaming … or … has a fever … or is in pain … or they won’t stop crying?’
We have not had either of our three kids express extreme degrees of health. Some readers might be saying ‘Oh, you’re lucky.’
My response is no, it all goes back to how you are choosing to approach health, educate and explain health to your kids. Attending to our children’s physical (move), chemical (eat) and emotional (think) wellbeing and weekly adjustments means they have not experienced those depths of a health expression that someone else might have experienced. And remember they have created fevers, coughs, runny noses, spots on their bodies, bee stings, sprained ankles, deep cuts, ear aches, deep mucous coughs, sore throats, and skate board, biking, netball, rugby and surfing mishaps, like any other kid. The difference has been in how we’ve approached health and educated our kids regarding that message – how we handle those challenges, the trust we have, the conversations we have, the language we use, the actions we demonstrate and what questions we ask that makes all the difference to embracing a “health expression” or not. Our kids have been raised to understand that health is choice not chance and everything that is expressed is because they chose to have that experience.
If we—and you—are going to raise kids in a different approach to health, at least different to the majority of society, then it makes sense to be congruent with the language of the approach chosen.
Here are some steps you can take:
- Receive weekly adjustments from a qualified chiropractic for neurological integrity.
- Eat organic food
- Move your body
- Think about the conversations you have with your kids and the language you are using.
GOOD TO SHARE? You’re welcome to reprint this article when it is properly attributed to Drs Randall & Sarah Farrant with a link to Vital-Wellbeing.com. Since 1990 Drs Randall & Sarah Farrant have been global mentors to thousands of individuals, families, health professionals, celebrities and sporting personalities. They have facilitated and inspired people to live an alternate and vitalistic life.