Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It is best not to

It is best not to live your life chasing after the emotions of others. You can teach your family that you will jump to prevent them from being dissatisfied with the decisions you make for what is for dinner and when they need to go to bed or whether they like to wash the floor. You can attempt to appease the wrath of relatives who think you should not homeschool, nurse your babies as long as you like or have the audacity to nurse them in public while sipping a cup of coffee.  Or...as the genie in Alladin states, "Be yourself". Don't react........

I distinctly remember the early days of parenthood when I could predict Anna's every move and thought. I think I did much to prevent screaming or dissatisfaction from occurring by staying one step ahead of her. Now, nine kids later, if my dear little darlings attempt to get my goat, I am much less likely to care. Helicopter parenting is not for me. I don't think I saw myself as a helicopter parent years ago but I am afraid it was so. This helicopter life can apply to the noxious behavior of the adults in life too. Do we jump to appease or confidently carry on. What to do with the noxious behavior???? Hmmmmm.......the only answer I can come up with is to attempt to not reply or something....... I am puzzling over this for quite a few reasons but it is reminding me to help my kids see themselves not as individuals to live their lives motivated by the control or response to others, but to live life in response to what they are given to do. Do it because it is what needs to be done and don't wait for people to control you, a.k.a. nag you, yell at you etc. When yelled at or dealt with harshly, perhaps it is best not to jump??? Quietly responding or not responding or informing the offender that their method of communication is hurtful and humbly do it anyway? Each circumstance is different but the defining of one self becomes different when you are not reacting to the bullying of others.

Our kids rebellion is bullying.   I have one who has been popping out of bed at night to do and say any number of things.    Ummmm......no dear.  Dear child wants to control me by their actions and um.....no.   The rule is and always has been, when you go to bed you are done for the day.    I am not playing a game with you over water, the bathroom etc.    You will go to bed and stay in bed.   

This comes up in relationship to our kids learning how to interact with people outside the family. Who writes the rules? It just seems best to help the kids to learn now in their relationship to me, that in academics, they do their homework because it is given to them to do. When they leave the house for school or a job then it will be an easier adjustment for them to do their homework or tasks at work.   In relationship to others as far as friendship goes, they should not rule their friendships and relationships by trying to do what they think the other person wants them to do. Speculating and guessing in order to please another person is not healthy. It can get out of control. I also want them to ponder doing things to control others by either criticizing them, or deciding they know better than their friends.  Not a good habit to fall into.    There is no give and take when as a friend you can't wait to set the record straight and you fail to listen to the other humanoid.  

Friends like you because they like who you are. They want to be friends with you or not, because they like who you are from the get go or....not. People pleasing is not healthy for anyone involved. People pleasing changes who you are. People pleasing comes from fear of the other person or people involved not liking you. Then there is the, if who you are is a person who likes to bully others, boss them around, mock people, then as a parent and individual myself, this is where I am a fan of private Confession and Absolution. No where is autonomy clearer than during Confession and Absolution. What a wonderful gift. It is not weird. It is a wonderful gift. It keeps the focus on you. I take my kiddos to Confession and Absolution as young as they would like to go. I am thankful for Pastors who do not find it weird if my four year old wants to cozy up and talk to their Pastor even if it doesn't make complete sense to the child yet. It is a natural part of their life then and they grow into it. Confession and Absolution is the place too where all the puzzling over our relationships to others makes sense as we will not stand before God and speak for others but for ourselves. Fussing over the other people just won't be the topic of the day.

So kiddos.......don't yell at each other or me. So......adults.......don't yell at each other or at me. Speculating gets you no where and detracts from your relationships. If you want to know more about what someone thinks, then instead of making decisions for them, ask them respectfully and go from there.  Or perhaps teh phrase, it is none of your vocation comes into play here.    Get to know people and do not decide for them what they are doing is this or that.   This whole thinking out loud thing is about my processing how to help my kids make their way in the world and take responsibility for their choices and decisions.  How to help them understand how to respect others and themselves as autonomous individuals.   Love your neighbor kids!    I am not sure it this all makes sense but......that is fine.....I am not writing this to please you!  :o)   Just thinking and pondering......


  1. Karin, I think you and I are trying to slog through some of the same things. So I appreciate your musings! And boy howdy, if you can teach these things to your kids before they're adults, you will have done them a huge favor!

  2. Hi Susan! Doing them a favor. Yes. Trying. I know I was clueless as it was never discussed. I hate the fact that I learn these things to pass on by painful experience but that is life on this side of heaven.