Scooper blogged about showing up today because that is sometimes all we can do!
I found her words comforting:
It’s times like this when my blog can feel like a pet, yet another thing that looks to me to be fed and nurtured. But because I care deeply about this space and its value in my life, I resolve to come back, time and again, even when the well seems too deep to prime.
A funny thing happens most every time I click on “new post” and see the blank digital canvas staring back at me. I feel like I’m home. The white space welcomes me to come on in and get comfortable, even if I was reluctant to show up in the first place. Sometimes you just have to show up.
I also stare at my canvas and think, “Do I have anything to say that anyone really wants to hear?” Maybe. Maybe not. If others glean any insights from my blog I’m thankful.
I’m two classes into a class called Love and Logic. It’s changing my life. The principles are simple. Love builds relationship. Logic allows for natural consequences. It’s teaching me how to build up my kids, enjoy them, and allow natural consequences. This involves a lot of tongue biting, allowing them to own their problems and their lives! I’ve discovered I am a recovering helicopter parent; continually hovering. (nice!)
Particularly impacting me this week has been the notion of ignoring my children’s weaknesses and building their strengths. Ah, I don’t think I’ve been doing this!
Adult life doesn’t work that way. We concentrate on our strengths and find people around us to help shore up our weaknesses. We are encouraged to ask ourselves, “What am I good at?”. We take that one thing and we nurture it. We sometimes build a business around it. We make money with it. We contribute with it….very often on just one strength.
How do I emphasize the good? Love and Logic says to concentrate on praising the good and brush over the weakness. So…. Little Johnny brings home his week’s work and your are looking over it, you might say……“A in Math? Great! D in Science? Think that might improve? Ok!“ You do this and, get this part, nothing else is said. (Gulp!)
So I keep telling myself:
Reinforce the positive. Ignore the negative. No one is good at everything. Most people are good at just a couple things.
If my son makes a bad grade can’t I lovingly reassure him that there will be other tests? If he habitually doesn’t study do I nag him or reassure him that 5th grade will be there again next year, allowing him to deal with the natural consequences of not studying! Or could I ask him, “What do you think about that?” or “What do you think you are going to do differently?” Toddlers walk at all different ages. But there is this norm for our kids to finish school in 12 years.
- Might it be more acceptable that some kids finish school in 10 years and some in 14 years?
- Do we care if Little Johnny walked at 9 months and Little David at 14 months?
- Can I change my mindset so I am helping my kids develop and celebrate what they are good at by concentrating on those things?
What if we asked “Why did you get this problem right?” instead of “Why did you get that problem wrong?” Love and Logic says that when you ask the first question and it’s a harder question to answer. It makes the child think. So maybe you give him options like…..
- You either cheated OR
- You tried hard OR
- You’re getting better in Math
If he chooses, “I tried hard.” then it’s branded on his subconscious mind. No matter how many times we say, “You do better when you try hard!” it will not stick the way it does when he says it. And if we are looking over graded papers several times a week always asking the same question then he’s repeating that week after week. What does he learn? If I try hard I do well.
If we were to graph our strengths and weaknesses we’d most likely see something that looked like a mountain range. Love and Logic is teaching me that when we focus on what we do well the entire mountain range rises, both strengths and weaknesses. If self-image is the most important variable wouldn’t it make sense that strengths would naturally rise as would weaknesses because we have the confidence we need to try something we aren’t so good at!
So I’m trying to build my children’s self-images by concentrating on their strengths, not weaknesses. Praise the good; ignore the bad, while allowing natural consequences. And I’m doing the same in my own life! I certainly know things I do well and not so well, but when viewing myself as lovingly created by THE CREATOR the weaknesses are ok! That’s where HE shores me up!
(Much of this wisdom accredited to Love and Logic and the CD entitled Winning the Homework Battle by Jim Fay and Foster Cline, M.D.)