Sunday, June 29, 2008

Ending in Good Things

I was reading something someone had written on an unschooling email list, and it got me to thinking about endings. You hear people talking all the time about living in the moment - making this moment, and of course, the very next moment, as good as it can be. That is a very good thing of course! Sometimes though it can be useful to think in terms of endings.

I can think of so many examples, and I want to write all of them down, but I will stick to a simple one. You make dinner. Maybe it takes a lot of time, and you think it is special, and you know it is nutritious and tasty to you. You sit down at the dinner table as a family. One of your kids looks at the food askance and asks if he can have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and some baby carrots with ranch dressing (things that he likes and knows you have.) You could use your power to try to make your child sit at the table and eat what he is served which most likely ends with the kid not eating anything. What is the ending? The kid is hungry. Dinner was unpleasant. There is a lot of tension in the house. Now let's say you say, "Sure, go ahead and help yourself." Everyone else starts eating, and the kid who made the different dinner comes in a few minutes. What is the ending? Everyone is fed. You had a pleasant family dinner. Maybe you have leftovers of something you think is tasty and can have for lunch the next day. Your kid feels heard and loved.

There are so many moments I ruin by trying to control my kids. I am so much better than I was 10 years ago, but it is still a process for me. It is so different than what mainstream parenting specialists preach. It works though. I have seen it over and over again. I change my behavior patterns to less controlling, and my kids improve on their own because it is what they want for themselves. Now I think I will not only think about the moments but the endings. How many happy endings have I ruined by my trying to control? I want my children (and me too!) to have lives full of happy endings!


Abby said...

This was very thought provoking. Thanks for sharing. :)

Salena said...

Keep up the good work.