Thursday, April 30, 2015

Thursday Thanks Tank #206

My 7 year old daughter ran in the house this afternoon and told her 10 year old brother, "Alert! Alert! I found a new bug." Then, he jumped up and followed her outside. I watched them eagerly walk together to look at the new discovery. A few moments later, my son walked in and said, "False alarm. It was just a woodchip."
I love moments of discovery- even non discovery. I love the excitement of seeing my kids explore nature.
This past Sunday I did my first triathlon. I'm still sort of stunned that I did it. My running partner had been training for it for a while and I was training with her. Two weeks ago, I decided that I was going to do it with her. It was a blast. I loved it. I see more triathlons in my future. I am thankful for new experiences. I am thankful for my fitness level. I am the most fit I have ever been and it feels incredible.
My parents were in town for a week plus just recently. I am thankful for their visit. I am thankful that I spend time with them. I am at a stage in my life where I appreciate them for who they are and understand them and the struggles they have. They are not perfect but neither am I. Being mature enough to recognize that has deepened my love for them in ways I never imagined. I love that my kids enjoy being around their grandparents. I am thankful for my parents.
Sometimes my husband and I have these moments when we look at our kids and each other and the obvious non-verbal communication is, 'What just happened?' Our kids are amazing. But, sometimes parenting is amazingly challenging. I am thankful for the communication and respect my husband and I have with and for each other. We don't always agree but we do always try to be respectful. When we disagree on a parenting issue, we try to talk privately about it. Our kids know we are a team. I am thankful for the way we work together as parents.

I've had a good day focusing on being thankful.
I am thankful.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Strong Parenting

I am amused by the viral video of a mother smacking her son around for being a part of the Baltimore protests. She's been called the Hero Mom and The Natural Hero. I am amused about this for a few reasons. It is interesting to see what goes viral. The video was entertaining. What causes me the most amusement, though, is how people (myself included) applaud this mother for strongly and physically stopping her child from bad behavior. The Baltimore situation seems to justify the Baltimore mom's use of force. What a strong woman to react without hesitation and without concern for judgment! Her child was in harm's way- both a present harm and a perceived future of harm. So, she did what she needed to do. She pulled him off the path of destruction.
I am glad she stood her ground. I do not have a problem with her being commended for taking charge of her child. Quite frankly, like many others, I found the story heart-warming.

But, there is a disconnect.
The same people who applaud this strong mother would probably be disgusted by a mother spanking a child at the grocery store.
People cringe when they see parents enforcing consequences for bad behavior. We cringe because it makes us feel uncomfortable. We cringe because we do not know if someone will view it as abusive.
Admonishment of children, especially if done in a public setting, is not lauded.
Therefore, character development is often saved for home.
I do not believe it is optimal.
I cannot count the times where I chose to delay a punishment because I was within the public eye. On numerous occasions, I would then either forget to go forward with the disciplinary consequences or chose not to because life had moved on.
I see a society that craves strong parenting but prefers for the discipline of children to be done behind closed doors.
There is a disconnect.
It is both amusing and maddening.