Arun over at the parenting pit gives good, concrete advice on how to curb our inner control freak, and become even better parents.
On a scale of one to ten, here’s how I fare. What about you?
1. Don’t watch. 5 out of 10. I have a hard time turning away when I see danger afoot. Or when I see them heading towards disaster of one kind or another. I have been working on this one. What helps me is when there are other adults around, especially dad. This allows me to defer the situation to them. If they aren’t freaking out, I ask myself if I’m overreacting. When I’m alone, I ask, “What would my hubby do?” It helps give me perspective.
2. Build your own sandcastle. 9 out of 10. This is one of my favorite ways to teach and relate to other people. Once in a while I get the “let me do that for you” urge. But generally, I’m pretty good at this one.
3. Ask questions. 9 out of 10. I like this approach too. Asking questions is a great way to get the conversation going, to get to know my kids, and to give them a chance to shine. And, I think the kind of questions we ask indicate clearly what our intentions are.
4. It’s about you. 7 out of 10. I intellectually know that what bugs me is 99% about my own issues. I need more time to meditate, that’s for sure.
5. Get perspective. 8 out of 10. I forget sometimes that my kids are only kids. When they act like kids, and I catch myself with absurdly high expectations, I joke with myself and say, “Why do you have to act so much like a 7 year old?” They laugh with me and say, “mom! I AM 7!” Helps me get perspective.
6. Take the cape off. 5 out of 10. Being the perfectionist that I am, it’s hard to admit when I’m not being a perfect mom and model for my kids. Gah. Will I ever grow up?
7. Embrace learning. 8 out of 10. Failure is very important. I’m just now realizing this in the past couple of years or so of my life. I’m starting to look forward to failure, rather than fear it. It takes practice.
8. Enjoy the ride. 9 out of 10. This is why we decided to homeschool in the beginning.
9. Displacement. 8 out of 10. I’ve done this many, many times. Not just with my kids, but with hubby too. Hee hee. Boy, when I’m frustrated, the dresser and closet sure to get organized!
10. Parent like thereis no tomorrow. 9 out of 10. In Zen practice, there is only now. Tomorrow is no guarantee. “Live like there’s no tomorrow, learn like you’ll live forever.” I’ll also add to this, and say that I also try to see every day as a fresh new start. This is called “Beginner’s mind” in Zen buddhism. Although, sometimes, when the kids have asked me the same question 100 times, it’s hard to bring myself back into my beginner’s mind 100 times. I’m only human. (That goes back to number 6.)
Letting go – it’s a life-long project, isn’t it?