Friday, February 12, 2010

The Good Enough Mom Lets Her Children Fail!

There are two overarching principals of effective parenting. The first is parents must love their child(ren) unconditionally! And the second principal is equally important, namely that effective parents allow their children to fail. It is this second principal that I touch on today. I knew a mother of an 18 year old man/child. This dear wonderful loving mother was so frustrated with herself and as I talked with her she revealed that she is angry that her son won't brush his teeth. She stated with great emotion and exasperation, "He gets made at me every day when I ask him, 'Have you brushed your teeth?' I don't know what to do, he just won't brush his teeth!"

Now, if you are like me, you laugh and wonder, how did this situation get so desperate but many of us run to rescue the child from some failure/hurt/rejection etc. So remember this, parents who take on the responsibility of the child by reminding or doing for him or her, encourage the child to be irresponsible. Parents must learn to “mind their own business” and let the child learn from the logical consequences of her/his own behavior. Bon Voyage! and ¡Buen viaje! Enjoy the ride...it always gets better!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Open Up! And Live!!

I was raised in a very closed and narrow world. Religious straight jackets were handed out and you either conformed or were excommunicated! If you conformed you belonged...if you (horror of horrors!!) did not conform you were seen/labeled as a rebel and were told in no uncertain terms that 'rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft!' With that pronouncement, out you go into 'not belonging' and it is no wonder that so many of my child hood friends are still searching for a place to belong!

I have learned that people who are truly alive and well are NOT closed and narrow but open and flexible! Flexible people allow for the reality of doubt and uncertainty! Rigid people cannot live with with doubt and they seek to complete their picture of life quickly using as few pieces as possible. The pieces of their life fit in a very small and tight pattern and these few pieces are all they need. More pieces would confuse them and they cannot allow any confusion! If you talk to rigid people you might think they are truly certain about life but you later realize they are only certain about their 14 small pieces they call life!

Rigid people are like the suspicious detective who takes the first bits of evidence and makes it fit his preconceived idea and comes to an unshakable and 'definite' conclusion about the mystery of life! If there is any new evidence uncovered, they quickly bend it and mold it to fit into the shape of their premature conclusion. They live a static, fixed life with no dynamic living and in a world that is so small that they can handle it. Now they will not admit to this, but they are afraid to try any more...to attempt anything anymore...to be open to reality would freeze up their internal processor...the computer would crash!

But, to the one who allows life and accepts life...they have true serenity amidst the turmoil of doubt and questions. Maybe that is what Jesus intended when He said, "I give peace to you, MY peace I give to you, NOT as the world gives peace! Don't let your heart be trouble! Take MY peace!"

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