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Friday, February 26, 2010

I love everything I hate about you.

Isn't it interesting when the same quality in one person can create two opposite emotions in another person.

In relationships, people can both love and hate specific character traits in each other. I hate when my better half reacts to obstacles in life with a relaxed attitude when clearly, in my eyes, for the problem to be solved we need to be moving tensely at mach 5 speed. However, my husbands same stoic outlook is also the quiet that calms my passionate storm when I am in a frenzy about stuff I have no control over and cannot change, and therefore, should just relax and let life happen.

When I am feeling frustrated because of a certain action by a loved one in my life, I can turn the negative feeling around by focusing not on the action but the character trait that created the action as normally the trait itself is one that I admire.

If I were to actually write down everything that frustrates me about anyone I am close to, I would see the same actions that can unnerve me at times are created by the traits that attracted me to that person to begin with.

Just a thought...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

If your not screwing up; Your not doing much (Part 2)

The "if your not screwing up; your not doing much" parenting principle is fairly simple when your child's screw ups involve paint on walls or toys being left out. When you are attempting, and I do mean attempting, to parent a 14 year old girl, screw ups can be a bit more detrimental to her well being than washable finger paint is to a wall.

Should she be granted the same freedom to fail, or do I protect her from as many mistakes as I can? If I choose the latter, how do I even begin to dictate to a 14 year old girl what she should or should not do without completely destroying the closeness neccessary to provide advice, direction, wisdom.

Fourteen is young -- when your 37, but when your 14, you are almost driving, graduated, out of the house, married. When your fourteen, and in highschool, you are surrouned by 17 and 18 year old immature adults in a place where sex, drug deals, fights, and drinking happen on a daily basis.

Parenting a teenage girl, if done properly, is a feat comparable to solving world peace. I am just begining this new journey with my oldest daugher, and I am taking the route of trying to see her as mature as she sees herself. I know that she truly believes she knows as much, if not more than I do, about the world, and I absolutely cannot force her to see it any other way. I can only try to teach her the lessons I have allready learned, and help her learn the lessons that are neccessary for her own story to be told.

Trying to come to terms with the fact that your child is closer to an adult than a child is tough because the love you feel for your child creates an intense desire to protect her at all costs, but for her to become an independt, secure, successfull adult you have to step back and let her live her life.

So back seat her I come.

(On a side note: "I am sure many accidents have been avoided by a good back seat driver.")

Thursday, February 4, 2010

If your not screwing up; your not doing much.

I cannot remember every detail of my childhood. I do not recall every lecture, or consequence, or conversation of my teenage years; but, I do remember one quote that my dad said to me once in my early teens that has truly resonated with me throughout the years. "If your not screwing up; Your not doing much"

Looking back on my younger years, I will admit I did not need to do "so much". I am not going to deny a little more discipline, structure, boundaries may have led me to be more successful, have more brain cells, be healthier, I may not have taken the harder road to where I am today had I "screwed up less". Having said that, I still as an adult raising my own children, truly appreciate the fact that my dad did not break my spirit in the name of being perfect, good, right, clean, well-behaved.

As I write these words, I am also trying to come to terms with my own ideas of child rearing. I want my children to be given the same freedom to fail. The same fearlessness in life that I believe I was given by my dads philosophy of making mistakes; however, I do not know if this is right. How do I limit the chaos that surrounds me, teach my children to respect their things, my things, themselves, and others without demanding them to? And how do I demand certain behavoirs without being forecful, fierce, stringint?

I have been told I am too easy on them. That when they write on walls and not paper I should reprimand more sternly than I do. I have been told they need to be spanked, by more than one person. I want my house to be cleaner, I want them to take better care of the gifts given to them. Overall, I would like a little less mess, but my younger children are just that young. In my eyes, the way I handle the mistakes they make today (writing on walls, yelling, being destructive,) is laying the foundation for how they will react to failures later in life. I do not want them to fear mistakes.

I as a grown adult am still making mistakes; errors that in my attempt to correct I am growing and becoming a better person. Maybe I am wrong; maybe I could have learned these same lessons without making the mistakes that lead to the teachings I am receiving.

Is failure essential to learning life lessons?