I think I’ve mentioned this before, but one of our favorite things to do after dinner each evening (weather permitting) was to go outside and play hide-n-seek. We had a big tree in the front yard that was home base, and scads and scads of great hiding places. I can still hear the kids’ voices yelling ‘Free!’ and see us all in ‘stealth mode’ moving from place to place trying not to get caught.
When Emma was a baby we would put her in her playpen near the base tree so she could be a part of things, too, but by the time she was two, she decided that she was big enough to play with us.
Knowing not to expect much, I told Zach, Elizabeth, and Olivia to just let her play the best she could. They weren’t too sure it would work, but being the doting older siblings they were, they agreed.
It was Zach’s turn to be ‘it’, so we all took off running to hide when he began to count-everyone but Emma. Emma ran about halfway across the yard, stopped, hunkered down in the grass, put her hands over her head and said “You can’t find me.”
When Zach finished counting Emma was right there in plain sight. He and his sisters tried to explain to her that just because she was hiding her eyes didn’t mean she was actually hiding. “We can still see you,” Olivia declared, rolling her eyes.
As parents we need to be mindful of the times our children try to hide in plain sight—times they try to hide their pain, their fears, their addictions, or other serious problems even though you can still see them, but are too busy living life to really notice.
Talk to your kids; listening for clues that they are being bullied or that they are struggling with self-esteem. Spend time with your kids so that you can recognize the situations that cause them to feel anxious or fearful and help them deal with them appropriately. Stay connected with your kids so that you’ll know when something is ‘off’ –when behavior and attitude changes give you cause to look deeper.
In other words, don’t let your kids hide in plain sight from the love, support, and protection only a parent can give.
Copyright 2015 Darla Noble. No part of this can be used or copied without permission from the author.