Tepid Penguin has been a bit shy lately. I guess Tonks and I are too hot for him to handle lol. He promises to grace us with his presence soon. — from Jodie’s Journey - “Are you being Honest With Yourself?”
Thank you Jodie, happy to be back! Lately, I have been (and I still am) enbroiled with personal drama/ issues which cause me quite a bit of stress and required most of my attention. Some of this may/ probably will eventually come out in posts, but some of it is a bit too personal in nature and I am still processing it all. So yes, I have been staying “out of the kitchen”. Well done Tonks and Jodie for a great week. And I know this is a late post, but I thought my recent drama taught me some things about being “True To Yourself”. So, I find myself here, trying my best to relay some of the wisdom that hard times, stress (+making lots of mistakes) teaches me.
My children aren’t especially great at “being themselves”. Oh, I don’t mean to say that they don’t know how, nor do I think that they are particularly conscious of what they are doing. When I say that they aren’t being themselves, what I mean is that they often “play” at being who they think “we” adults want them to be. As a child it is very easy to think that life requires a bit of play-acting. Parents tell you what is expected AND expect you to LIKE it too!?! (the horror, lol) Just yesterday I had a talk with my mom about my “attitude”. I admit, I had an attitude. But as an adult, I think we need to talk through these things, and really get to the point where we can have an honestly good attitude, not just fake one.
When I was young I remember many times where NOT being myself seemed to help. Looking back, I can see the damaging effects this had on my path. For example, who hasn’t noticed, as a teen, that despite having our own personal opinions and interests, sometimes we could benefit from ‘faking’ interest in whatever it was that my (so-called) friends were doing, they “liked” me more, talked with me longer. But oh, the price we paid. We are more than the clique we subscribed to.
The goal as parents then is to allow our children to be themselves. Through a class my wife and I are taking, we have learned the phrases “Try that again in your real voice, please.” and “Now, can I hear that in your Big Boy/Big Girl voice?”. Phrases like this are used when we find our children talking in a ‘baby’ voice, a whining/ crying voice or any variations. In my home, these phrases have had a great reception. I think my kiddos are relieved to just be themselves. There are no translations to go through, no voice inflections to adjust, and no lies to remember. And you can say what you wanted to say the first time. No need for going back and clarifying!
As we work on being true to ourselves this week, let’s allow our children to feel comfortable with being themselves too! I’m surprised at how many situations are greatly simplified by these easy to remember phrases. I’m finding that encouraging personal honesty builds confidence in themselves and builds trust in the relationship with their parents. – Peace, Love and Iced Tea!