I Was Thinking…
One of the first few knots of the net that REALLY needs to be “tied” is the knot that is about creating a world for our children that is the size they can really handle. A world in which they can be most SUCCESSFUL!
In our case, we had given our daughters chores based on their chronological age and the abilities we “knew” they had. Our oldest really had a hard time. The problem was that those chores really caused a lot of problems. Big. Huge. Problems. She really had a hard time to being able to run with other kids her age and not end up either GETTING HURT or BREAKING A RULE or two or three or four! Many times in situations where she was on her own with other children she would either be a LONER or be BOSSY and AGGRESSIVE. Important relationships were being negatively affected. We were CONFUSED and MAD because it often felt purposeful. We were asked to pull her out of classes and sports, she was getting injured and putting herself in dangerous situations; it was a nightmare! As a matter of fact, we were even advised to disrupt our adoption. Worst of all, her self-esteem was suffering terribly. The more she failed the worse things got – a vicious circle of her old beliefs and deficits was set in motion!
It was time to do it differently! I remember distinctly the day I really fully embraced this new more intentional way to parent my daughter. The day I really took the risk and met her where she was. She had been invited to an overnight girl birthday party. She said she wanted to attend. However, behavior kicked in big time! She sabotaged going to the event in any way she could. It finally hit me…this is too big for her. I turned it over and over in my mind. It was an event that any mom would want for her daughter to be a part of. It was an event that was appropriate for her chronological age. “All” of the girls in our group of friends were going.
With all of this going on in my mind, I decided to follow my gut. I called her to our porch and as gently but confidently as I could I explained that she was NOT going to go to the party. I told her that it was my job to keep her safe and healthy and that this party would not be either of those things for her. I braced myself for her reply. She looked at me and asked me to repeat what I had said. I repeated it word for word. Her hands released their tight grip they had had on the rail. Then, she breathed a HUGE sigh of relief! Her shoulders dropped inches in relaxation. Her face softened. Then, she asked if she could go and play. Behavior went back to a low rumble, which was our status quo. It was over. The spin really slowed! This was TOO big for her. I finally got it! I didn’t put her into a situation in which she couldn’t be successful. This was a HUGE shift for us.
As Intentional Parents, we must make the shift. Pull our child’s world in to the size he can handle. Do “it” differently if that is what it takes. Make it the size in which he can SHINE. This shift will create healing across the board!