Saturday, January 14, 2012

Staying Real

Staying real.  With our kids, with our loved ones.  Being honest, even when it's really hard - It's so important, and is so key if we want to stay in our hearts - and where better to be if we want to really connect with our children, in our marriages.  And every time we take that leap and really take a hard look at ourselves and choose love - well our hearts just get closer, and there is a deeper intimacy all around.  Even if it's something as simple as not quite reining in frustration, and letting some words slip out that we regret - we have the option to stop right there, and make it right, reconnect.  Because really - it's not about being perfect.  It's about growing and learning - and our kids watching that process, and seeing it as a normal part of life.  Then they too can find the strength to take a good look at themselves, and see the bits they'd rather not see.  Every time we say to them - "Wow - I really lost it there - my words came out sounding really harsh - I wasn't meaning to direct that at you. I'm just feeling really tired and overwhelmed right now.  I apologize."  and we look them in the eyes, and we let them feel really *feel* our love -  well that's the real stuff.  So often there is pressure for parents to be "right" - that they are undermining their power and authority to admit they were wrong.  I just don't agree with that.  Our society needs more people who can admit they have messed up.  People who value connection over being right.

There is such a huge focus on the surface of kids - their outer manners, what they can and can't do.  SO much pressure, that is rarely age appropriate.  More important than any of that is what lies below the surface.  *Why* is my child acting out ?  What need isn't being met?  Do they *feel* loved?  We know we love our kids - but that's not enough.  So often kids don't feel loved - have lost the connection, in our busy lives that leave so little room for connection.  With 5 kids - it can be tricky to maintain a connection with each of my kids, but that is my number one goal, every day.  Maybe my kids will swear.  Maybe they'll.....pick their nose in public *gasp* or forget to say please once in a while.  Heck - they might be downright mouthy at times, but that is the surface, and the more years pass, the more I realize that that is not the part that matters.  That surface stuff - it matters, but it matters because it's there to signal us.  To let us know that a child needs *connnection* and lots of it, more than anything else.

And really - doesn't it make it all so much simpler?  Maintain that connection.  And the rest will follow naturally, almost, *almost* effortlessly.

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