Monday, June 22, 2009

Perfect quote for mommas with radishes

“Angry, fearful reactions to people’s mistakes reveal that somewhere in our minds still lurks that fundamental belief of the Old Covenant, not only that people can be controlled but that they need to be controlled, and they need to be controlled through punishment. They need to experience the pain of our anger so that they won’t make mistakes that cause us to feel out of control.

…Fear and intimidation cannot help but rule the household of those who believe they can and must control each other when they make mistakes, and use anger and violence to do it.” (D. Silk, pg. 81, Loving our Kids on Purpose"

I hijacked this quote from Molly's blog to make sure my friends with RAD kids got a chance to mull over these incredible words.

I long to get past my personal romance with violence and remain always with the higher call to parenting toward internal discipline. In Molly's post, she talks about the disrespect of authoritarian parenting which I know like the back of my hand. Ask my children and husband how carefully I measure my words in a stressful situation, and they'll tell you I get dismissive, short, snippy. I wish I could step out of that like a snake leaving it's skin. Instead I've learned apology like an unfaithful lover. At times, I get stuck in the role of fearful parent, wondering if my particular spawn will be next plague on humanity. Where in the world does that awful thought come from? The fearful parent in me will jump to irrational conclusions in a heartbeat and turn into a tyrant who must squash the wayward behavior and trample the spirit in the process. Yet I know so much better than that. And thankfully, I'm doing much better as I see the fine people my children are becoming. I actually enjoy their company, and I know others enjoy them as people as well. My mother complimented my fifteen year old son the other day for being able to hold an engaged and interested conversation with her. She tells me she hasn't met many teenagers capable of relational discourse. I think she partial 'cause she loves him so, but even so, I love her encouragement.

I know I'm in for some upcoming stress with more does to kid in the midst of summer swim team season. I'm asking myself to examine my game during the crisis of the moment, casting off pain and anger, and make a bee line toward peace.


Anonymous said...


Just a quick FYI-----don't think I write about parenting because I've "arrived." I am *so* on this journey. *grinning sigh* I very much relate to having the punitive internal voice be exactly what I do NOT want to be there, and often wishing I could step out of it like so much snake skin. I am very much in process, very much learning as I go, very much growing. This was a great post...mostly because I'm glad to know I'm not alone. :) :) :)

truevyne said...

I don't think for a minute any of us have arrived. Parenting, like marriage, takes work and commitment.
Your post was humble, and I took away that you too must be intentionally parenting toward internal discipline. It's not something which happens naturally. Naturally, I think we are a people of fear, revenge and self-fulfillment.
Thanks again for your post- it moved me.