Dear Vicki: I love the Five Elements and have used them as a teaching tool with my daughter, Emma. She’s eleven now and understands that our elements can affect how we think and act. Yesterday, Emma and I were in the car and got stuck behind a slow truck. My Metal was fine going slowly until the truck could turn off, but in true Wood fashion, Emma was agitated about the progress we weren’t making. I suggested she practice patience, but instead, she shouted, “I hate being a Wood! We’re always in trouble!” I assured her that wasn’t the case and the issue passed, but it made me wonder if my Metal is affecting how I parent Emma. Also, could you please share what you consider to be the special aspects of Wood so that I can reinforce the positive parts for Emma instead of always seeming to reel her back. Thank you. Signed: Emma’s Mom
Dear Emma’s Mom: What a cool mom you are! It’s fantastic that you’ve taught Emma about the Five Elements. I’m happy to share what I consider to be the special aspects of Wood. In fact, I’ll provide what I call the super powers and gifts for each of the elements here. But I’ll start with your question regarding how your Metal might affect parenting a Wood daughter.
As you know, Metal and Wood relate on the Controlling Cycle. That means Metal will feel a deep internal drive to help keep Wood in check for it’s own good. In a way, that describes a basic goal of mothering: Keep the child safe. And keeping a little Wood safe is often much harder than keeping a little Water, Earth, or Metal safe. Only little Fires will be as prone to undertaking adventures as little Woods.
As a Metal mom, perhaps you’ve caught yourself pulling Emma back from something “for her own good.” And yet, remember that you will discern what you think is good for her through your Metal filter. Metals are more reasoned and discerning than Woods, so it’s right that you use your skill and gifts as a Metal to help guide Emma. However, Woods thrive on taking initiative and making things happen, which means you’ll need to make sure you’re allowing abundant opportunities for Emma to do that. For example, mountain climbing at eleven years old is probably a bad idea, but volunteering for a local charity, planting flowers for seniors, or starting a dog-walking business are all activities that will feed Emma’s need to manifest. Remember that Woods need action and movement, which by definition, may not always seem safe to a Metal.
If you feel like you always “reel her back,” you might be over-controlling her a little. Should that be the case, rather than controlling her Wood, try channeling it. Rather than saying “No!” a lot, which to a Wood will feel like they slammed into a brick wall, try saying, “Turn right!” This allows Woods to keep momentum, which matters, but also helps them detour around danger.
Now here are what I consider to be the super powers and gifts for each of the elements. I think you’ll have fun helping Emma feel good about her Wood!
Waters: Their super power is the power of potential and their gift is imagination. The sky’s the limit for Waters. This means they aren’t held back by logic or mechanics, so can dream up anything. Creativity sits in Water for this reason.
Woods: Their super power is the power of action and their gift is initiative. Woods usually see their way around any barrier. This means once they decide on a course of action, Woods can make things happen. Manifestation sits in Wood for this reason.
Fires: Their super power is the power of fully actualized potential and their gift is inspiration. Fires embrace reality. This means they can enthusiastically acknowledge and enjoy the “now” and inspire others to do the same. Celebration sits in Fire for this reason.
Earths: Their super power is the power of transition and their gift is balance. Earths love to help. This means they willingly support anyone or anything adjusting to shifts and help maintain balance in the process. Change sits in Earth for this reason.
Metals: Their super power is the power of completion and their gift is discernment. Metals finished the book, so know how the story ended and what it meant. They are happy to share the best way to use this information, too. Synthesis sits in Metal for this reason.
As a Metal, I suspect you’ll enjoy this summary. I hope it supports you in parenting your sweet little Wood. Blessings!