Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

Hope is a function of struggle.

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

I used to struggle with letting go and allowing my children to find their own way, but something that I learned in the research dramatically changed my perspective and I no longer see rescuing and intervening as unhelpful, I now think about it as dangerous. Don’t get me wrong — I still struggle and I still step in when I shouldn’t, but I now think twice before I let my discomfort dictate my behaviors. Here’s why: Hope is a function of struggle. If we want our children to develop high levels of hopefulness, we have to let them struggle. And let me tell you, next to love and belonging, I’m not sure I want anything more for my kids than a deep sense of hopefulness.

— BrenĂ© Brown, Daring Greatly

Their Own Free Will

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

It makes our own lives so much simpler when we let those who walk among us do whatever they want to do. Now, of course, when our offspring are young, we can’t let them be unsupervised. But it’s folly to think that we will be able to control their every move. Their own free will will surface quite regularly, just as ours continues to do. But our acknowledging that it’s okay for them and all others to listen to guiding voices different from our own results in many opportunities for gratitude. Being grateful for even the tiny experiences that we have with letting others be, letting others do that which they feel called to do, even if it proves to be wrong in the long run, is the breath of fresh air we deserve.

— Karen Casey, Let Go Now, p. 134

Learning to Recover From Falling

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

We are not helping our chldren by always preventing them from what might be necessary falling, because you learn how to recover from falling by falling! It is precisely by falling off the bike many times that you eventually learn what the balance feels like. The skater pushing both right and left eventually goes where he or she wants to go. People who have never allowed themselves to fall are actually off balance, while not realizing it at all. That is why they are so hard to live with. Please think about that for a while.

— Richard Rohr, Falling Upward, p. 28

Like Us

Friday, May 18th, 2012

I would say that my deepest spiritual understanding is that God also sees and forgives my smallest detail, even my flickery, prickly, damaged, jealous, vain self, and sees how I get self-righteous and feel either like trash, often, or superior, and like such a scaredy-cat, and God still understands exactly what that feels like. Because God has had the experience of being people, through Jesus.

Jesus had his good days and bad days and stomach viruses. Not to mention that on top of it all, he had a mom who had bad days and good days of her own. She’s like me and Amy, like all of us; she would have been as hormonal, too. And she must have been jealous sometimes of the people Jesus chose to spend time with instead of her. Jealousy is such a toxic virus. “Who are these people? And what do they have that I don’t have?” It’s pretty easy to be deeply selfish when it comes to sharing your child. Even Mary must have been like: “Back off! He’s mine.

— Anne Lamott, Some Assembly Required, p. 228-229

Picture Books

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

I think of picture books as stores of transferable potential energy.

— Martha V. Parravano, A Family of Readers, p. 4

Growing Up as a Mother

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Now, we’re in a different place and a different time, and I need to become a different kind of mother. A mother who knows how to back off. A mother whose gaze is not quite so intently focused on her own two endlessly absorbing children, but who is engaged instead in a rich, full life of her own. A mother who cares a good deal less than she used to about what time people in her household go to bed, what they eat for breakfast, whether they wear coats or not, and what they choose to do, or not do, with their own time. A mother who, though her protective, maternal instincts run as fierce and deep as ever, manages, in all buextreme moments, to keep those instincts in check. A mother who trusts in who her children are, even if they aren’t exactly who she thinks they ought to be. Who keeps faith in their futures, even when the things they do, and the words they say, give her pause in the present. A mother who remembers, above all else, that the greatest gift she can give to her own two wildly different, nearly grown sons is the knowledge that, no matter what, she loves them both absolutely, just exactly as they are.

— Katrina Kenison, The Gift of an Ordinary Day, p. 265

A Mother of Young Men

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Now, we’re in a different place and a different time, and I need to become a different kind of mother. A mother who knows how to back off. A mother whose gaze is not quite so intently focused on her own two endlessly absorbing children, but who is engaged instead in a rich, full life of her own. A mother who cares a good deal less than she used to about what time people in her household go to bed, what they eat for breakfast, whether they wear coats or not, and what they choose to do, or not do, with their own time. A mother who, though her protective, maternal instincts run as fierce and deep as ever, manages, in all but extreme moments, to keep those instincts in check. A mother who trusts in who her children are, even if they aren’t exactly who she thinks they ought to be. Who keeps faith in their futures, even when the things they do, and the words they say, give her pause in the present. A mother who remembers, above all else, that the greatest gift she can give to her own two wildly different, nearly grown sons is the knowledge that, no matter what, she loves them both absolutely, just exactly as they are.

— Katrina Kenison, The Gift of an Ordinary Day, p. 265

My Job as a Parent

Monday, March 8th, 2010

It is always a relief to be reminded that my job is not to control, or judge, or change my son, but simply to help him remember, with words and touch, who he really is. Loving him this way, I am better able to find within myself the faith and patience necessary to survive his painful transformations. I know to hold a space for his beauty, even when it slips from sight. And I come a little bit closer to understanding his true essence, to remembering the goodness that resides just beneath the surface of even his very worst behavior, behavior that is usually rooted in fear and confusion and self-protection.

— Katrina Kenison, The Gift of an Ordinary Day, p. 169-170

Loving Along the Way

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

In spite of all my efforts as a mother, my children will not wake up one morning and be perfect. Just as I will never “arrive” as a mother, they will never “arrive” as children. My work is to companion them on their journeys, guiding, loving, and teaching them to love themselves along the way. Maybe that’s what our responsibility is to ourselves, too, as parents — loving ourselves at our best, in uncertainty, and in spite of flat-out failure.

— Lisa Groen Braner, The Mother’s Book of Well-Being, p. 168

The Sanctity of the Present

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

Too often, we miss the sanctity of the present. The present usually arrives peacefully, offering itself as a refuge over and over again while we sit muddled in our minds. We might believe that our thoughts are productive or even interesting, but we’re really ignoring the gift of the day before us.

This is where our children can teach us. babies absorb the world around them, touching, tasting, and seeing. They delight in their senses, enjoying the unexpected swoop of a robin or the warmth of the sun emerging from a cloud. Let’s suspend our thinking for a change, return to the simple and original mind with which we were born. Let’s immerse ourselves in the river of the senses — to drift, swim, and float in the day.

— Lisa Groen Braner, The Mother’s Book of Well-Being, p. 100-101