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Saturday, April 14, 2007

My Oh My - that's mine!

Please be patient with me. I'm still working on website information. Check back regularly. There will be new articles, personal items and of course more pictures!

I was looking over the information for the website and I noticed a theme that might trouble some readers. On the home page the first two tabs start with "my". I would have had all of them start with "my" but there isn't enough room. Am I just terribly possessive or is there a reason?

One of the saddest problems with many forms of parenting is that some parents (sometimes innocently) don't connect all the pieces of parenting. Most any psychologist will agree that the "whys" of our actions can sometimes be more important than our actual actions. Understanding why can change the focus of any discussion or problem. For example, a child crying because he doesn't want to go to bed shouldn't be punished if you find out that he's allergic to the detergent you use to wash the sheets and though there's no rash - his entire body feels sore and hurts.

Finding out the whys of parenting is an important part of making sure our child can navigate in this world. So why do I use "my" so much? I was taught to have a world view. In other words - to think about others and how I can help make this world a little better. But having a world view and wanting to help doesn't come entirely from sharing. It comes from a feeling of responsibility. And in order to feel responsible you must first "own" the situation or thing.

While riding and observing with a protective services agent, the missing link for most of the parents we interviewed was not that they felt guilty - but rather that they didn't feel a sense of ownership of the child or to the problem. In counseling with hurting parents, the first important step is when they accept responsibility for their actions and "own" their children.

As parents we should encourage our children to "own" their problems and situations. Once they've done that, then we can teach them about love, caring, sharing and reaching out. Owning their situations also helps produce responsibility and helps them to define their place within the family. Imagine children who are able to say, "I have trouble being late, but I'm working on it. My goal is to have it conquered by August." Don't get discouraged - it can happen. When you allow your children, husband, friends...to "own" their lives you set them free and it won't be long until they will see every problem as a chance to improve.

If everything in your house belongs to everyone and every situation is all inclusive, your child will tend to be fussy and even more possessive and intolerant. Why? He will feel that he needs to "fight" for the right to participate or to use an item. Generic and all inclusive does not produce sharing and caring. After all, if it belongs to everyone - who is responsible for it's care? If I'm always going to be included, why should I work to maintain a good relationship? Generic and all inclusive does not produce responsibility or a healthy world view.

MY tip for today. Teach your children that it is okay and proper to have things that are off limits to others. Once you agree that little Johnny has the right to say no to Sally's demands to play with his toy - then you can teach them both the value of sharing from the heart!

So, here's to my family and my story and my website. I am totally responsible.

What do you think?

Debbie

1 comment:

Rev. Kenneth L Crocker D.D. said...

Hi Debbie:
I enjoyed reading your blog "My Oh My -that's mine". It's a very helpful and valuable concept. Years ago I earned a Master's degree in Psychology. I know you also have a degree in Psychology so that puts us both on the same page.
As an Ordained Minister for 60 years and Senior Counselor for Christian Ministries I know from personal experience that no one can solve a problem unless they own it.
We may help with a problem someone else has, but the final solution is going to take place with the person who owns it.
Sometimes we bury people under an avalance of words, accomplish nothing, then a simple concept like the one in your article clicks into place and with joy and relief we know the problem is going to resolved.
Your web site looks terrific and I'm looking forward to your stimulating writing and ideas on the blog.
Kenneth L. Crocker D.D.