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.