Monday, April 21, 2014
I want my children to mess up. I want them to make mistakes, because it is how we as humans learn to make course corrections in our behavior and decision making skills. I want them to make their mistakes now. I want them to make lots of them. I want it now because they are still here, in my home, under the protection of the people who love them most in the whole world. While they are in the middle of making terrible choices, and fighting amongst themselves, or throwing a ball through my window, I really just want them to know how to think about the consequences of a choice, to be considerate and speak with kindness, and listen to the 1000 times they've been told not to throw a ball in the house. When I am able to step back from the moment, I remember. I have to constantly remind myself that I am the safe place for my children to make their mistakes. That my children are human, and that they will make mistakes and that I would always prefer for those mistakes to be made while they are still here, in the safe place of our home and under the covering of our unconditional love, than to make them anywhere else. It is especially hard to remember that truth in the moment, when I am so frustrated I think I may loose my mind and most certainly my temper. All of us have personality traits that are intended for good, but as children, or even still as adults, we have to go through the process of learning how to use those traits for good. That process includes many, many poor choices, and accidents, and failures.
How else do we learn how to work hard, than by the lesson that failure to fulfill your responsibility of cleaning up the dog's bombs in the yard results in scrubbing poo off your new sneakers, (which is way easier than grabbing that scoop and just getting it done, right?) What better way to learn communication with others than by starting with your little sister who just demolished your Lego ship? The constant pattern my kids have of- fighting with each other, making up, being best friends again, repeat- is how my children will learn to work with people whom they may not like as adults. It means that maybe my son won't loose his job when he's 22 because he doesn't know how to handle conflict. Or that my daughter will know how to communicate when her husband has hurt her with his actions, because she has had the practice of learning to bring those difficult subjects up in a constructive way. My children have a place where they can push against the boundaries and find where they have gone too far and realize that they landed in the arms of parents who love them unconditionally and will lift them up to try again, instead of falling on their face with nothing to catch them. When, in their teen years as they go through the process of becoming their own person, and developing their own standards, they question what I've taught them, if I can just remember that now is when I want them to question what they believe, while they are still here under our covering; If I can remember that, I might be able to not take the questioning personally, and they will be stronger, wiser adults because they will have discovered how to ask the hard questions with grace and consideration.
If I can only just remember... I may make this personally assigned reading on a daily basis for myself. Because this is truly my heart for my children.