Wednesday, February 26, 2014
In one of my latest blogs, (Today Do This...) I discuss a favorite piece of advice quoted from a celebrity; “always be kind.” I noted that being kind was easy to do. Another topic I touch on in my blogs is worry. Something else that is also easy to do. And also very relatable. Everyone does it, but how good are we at keeping it in the background versus the foreground? Especially once we have children. The first child born commences more than enough worry from both parents, but you come to find as time passes that all of your worrying wasn't necessary. Those horrible worries never transpired for many of us. You worry most about accidents and injury and health problems.
In your past life, a friend’s child with a cold was just a child with a runny nose. Once you have your own child, a cold will surely turn into pneumonia or bronchitis. You’ll check on them to make sure they are able to breathe through the night. You’ll feel their chest to ensure it rises and falls with each breath. You’ll feel their tiny head to make sure they are warm with life.
If they live through the first part of their life, you will then worry about what friends they will choose, what activities they will become involved in, how they behave in school, will they lie, steal, do drugs?
When my son was 14, he had asked me if he could see a movie that I felt he was too young for. He really wanted this but my answer was always no. In one of his last attempts at trying to convince me that I should trust him, he explained that it wasn't as if he was a drug-addicted teenager or binge drinker. And how I should be thankful for who he was. (And I was.) But I told him that he also had to think about who his parents were, and it contributed greatly to who he was. And that my decisions were always based on my concern and care for him. He lost the argument and didn't get to see the movie. But one year later, he had been talking with his friends about planning a trip to Busch Gardens that summer without parents. He asked me if I would allow him to go if they all decided to do it. It took me only a few seconds.
I knew a normal response would be,”no, you’re too young.” But that was a normal response, and it would be cheating him of my genuine thoughts. I searched in my mind for reasons as to why he couldn’t go and I couldn’t find any. So I simply said, “yes.” It didn't take him any time at all to ask, “Why!?” Surely because he expected a “no.” “Because you've never given me any reason to say no.”
He and his friends didn't end up doing the trip that summer, but we both discovered in a simple moment that he was trusted in a very big way, making him and me very proud of him.
So look at yourself. Look at your spouse. Chances are good that your child will be just like you. Your habits. Your morals. Your personalities. So if you find yourself worrying that your child might one day become a convict, look at yourself first. Then realize that if you're not one, it’s very unlikely that they will become one.
They truly don’t fall far from the apple tree. If you are proud of the family that you are, it’s safe to say that you will be proud of them. If you allow your husband to insult you and talk down to you, don’t be surprised when your son will one day begin doing it.
They are learning as they are growing, including the age where they think that they know everything. If you always support them and never give up on them, they will know that they are worthier than what your worries amounted them to.
Worry is wasteful. Contemplation is good. It helps you to consider problems that MAY arise and how you would handle them if they did. But worry is just stress dressed in a different dress.
It gives you no enjoyment and no steps forward.
So let your child make those steps forward. Don’t worry about the falls and the hurts and the hurdles, because they are all supposed to happen. It will make them stronger.
~~Katherine A. Rayne~~