Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Be Careful, the Children Will See

When your child looks up, what do they see? I am not referring to the 6'1' , 210 pound, blonde haired, blue eyed father, or a 5'5, 150 pound, red haired, green eyed mother. What I am talking about is the person that makes up mom or dad. The real you is who I am asking about. What makes you you? Not the face you put on for the PTA, or work, or your knitting club. I mean the one that is left when everyone else is gone for the day.

What do you represent to your child? If your child had to describe you in let's say 3 words, and they were being brutally honest, and would get no ramifications for being that brutally honest, how would they honestly describe you? I know how my daughter would describe me and she nailed me pretty much dead on. Her first descriptive word about my personality was loud. She was not referring to my volume so much as she was charging me with being a bit of a chatter box. And I confess, I have been known to hog a conversation or two. I have, in my own defense, tried, over the years to try and keep my lips sealed tight when I need to. But alas, there are times when I falter and become that tried and true babbler that I would not like to be around if the tables were turned.

That for the most part is a superficial trait. What is it you are showing your children about life and how it should be handled. Are you a good example, or do you need some modifying, or do you need a major overhaul. Are your children glad to be around you or do they cringe when they have friends over, hoping you do not embarrass them.

Yes we were all embarrassed of our parents, it's part of growing up, it's a prerequisite of the teenage years. But nagging in the back of their heads, do they truly feel that all hope is lost for you, or that if you sat through enough episodes of Dr. Phil, that you might eventually get a clue as to how other parents are doing it. Not to say that you are doing it wrong, you just may need a refresher course. And come on, we could all you a little spritzing up, even if it is in the parental realm.

I for one have learned tons from my younger sister. Yep, you heard right. The sister who is working on some issues, but at least she had the you-know-what's to save she needs a new paint job in her personal life.(I love that analogy) So who is it you listen to, or do you turn a deaf ear when someone brings something to our attention. Are you so blinded that you are unwilling to see what others are seeing, but you are not...or will not? Take off the blinders and try to see what your children see and maybe ask them, and then listen to them. You would be surprised what they tell you.


William Cooney said...

This is a sublime post! We only have one daughter, and she's the best. Oh sure she claims to be a little embarrassed by my silliness in the presence of her friends, but it's pretty clear she knows it's harmless stuff.

As chock full of truisms as your post seems to be, I nonetheless sense from my daughter that she is pleased with both her parents in all the important ways. Don't ask me what we're doing right. If I knew, I would bottle it and become a millionnaire!

I find myself every few months thanking my daughter for making the task of parenting her so easy - relatively speaking, that is. We have grown closer to her mainly because she has known some hardship - emotionally speaking. It arose from some very unfortunate bullying in middle school. The long-term effects of this kind of abuse from one's own peers is quite devastating.

It's funny. When she says to me, "You're such a nerd, Dad," what I seem to hear is, "I love you." And when I say to her, "Don't even think about it young lady," she usually comes back with, "Don't try to be tough, Dad. You're so bad at it."

But you ask excellent questions. And you remind us of the value of our children's feelings. You're right. If we listen closely, we may be surprised to hear what they really have to say.

Excellent post!

Orlando Realtor said...

I just loved this post. It really makes one think.

Great response in the comments from William.....

Fairly Odd Mother said...

Your post gives me much to think about with regards to how my kids see me. I think each would have something to say, and it isn't all flattering. I just hope the good stuff overshadows the not-so-good.