Passing Down Not Only the Struggle but also a Response
What do you want to pass on to your children? There are certain things we consciously work on passing on to our children daily. We tell our son to open doors for women, we tell all of our children to make their beds and love their siblings like no other. But then there are those things that I know we don’t consciously teach. As one stands and stares wide-eyed at thick clear glass into a gigantic aquarium housing the color spectrum, so do my children spectate as my husband and I go about our day. It’s a quiet kind of watching of our responses to life’s expected and unexpected jolts. Somewhere deep inside of me is the conflicting contorted thought that I, as an adult, should have life pretty much figured out. I have contemplated that perhaps my naïve, inaccurate confidence on the profound answers of life has arisen as a result of years of providing answers to questions like why is the sky blue or where does the sun go at night to the people under five feet who live in our house. The ability to have the answers, or at least show that I know where to find the answers, has I believe warped my sense of thinking that I should always have it together. After all, I am not only an adult…I am a parent. For the past year I have been making the transition to a new career. This transition has brought on a sort of haunting of a host of self-reflecting questions birthed from the experiences of a few ‘no’s’ or ‘not right now’s’. Okay, more than a few. I don’t know about you, but knowing you have to respond with dignity and perseverance of steel to ‘no’s’ and ‘not right now’s’ instead of with foot stomping temper tantrums because there’s three pairs of eyes watching can be a little nerve wracking. I used to think that I should hide the fact that I am challenged with finding certain answers. However, I am beginning to believe that allowing the kiddos to see some struggles with finding answers may be a good thing. We wouldn’t want our three to go out into the real world and think that every time they try for something, be it a college, an internship, job or sports team that they should find their names on the list as one of the ‘chosen ones’. We want them to not only understand that they sometimes won’t be one of the chosen ones, but also to not give up when it happens. More than anything that is what we hope to pass down. In the meantime, I hope to stave off any foot stomping temper tantrums, brought on by 'no's' and 'not right now's', until after the kiddos go to bed.
How do you teach the kids to keep on keeping on?