There’s always tomorrow

We’ve had way too much going on in the past couple of days, but I think now we’re finally ready to present our list of privileges and responsibilities to the girls … tomorrow :). The delay is part caution and part time to think with a dash of procrastination. Change is hard, and this feels big. Seven weeks of dismantling all our dysfunctional patterns was big too. But this part is actually more work. Now we have to keep our eye on the ball called, ‘What do we want instead?’ That takes thought, self-reflection, honesty, and courage. Not exactly a walk in the park.

I’ve got it all written out, like a script, because I don’t want to forget anything. Jerry and I went over it together. He said, “This looks, great. It all makes sense to me.” So we’re on the same page. That’s key.

We also talked about being careful to avoid slipping into lecture mode. This part is not punishment. And, I’m realizing, it’s not even about consequences either. The tone and the atmosphere of this approach is completely different. More like, “We cannot wait to say yes to these things as soon as we know you’re ready, and we are so excited to witness all that you are capable of! Show us, show us, show us more!!” And when someone stumbles, no one’s in trouble. They just need more practice before we can say yes.

And when they do stumble, we’ll be ready with our new encouragement skills: “Hmm, what tripped you up? … What might you do differently next time? … I did notice that it’s getting easier for you compared to last week.” … etc.

And we’ll have our own stumbles too. We’ll forget, and feel confused, and say things like, “I don’t know yet, I need to think about that.” None of us have done this before. We can let it be messy.

Tomorrow will be interesting…

ps This is Fenner’s last year in elementary school. I’ve been feeling slightly nervous on her behalf as she faces such a big transition and remembering what middle school was like for me (not the greatest). Yikes, my first born in middle school. My daughter who whispers when she’s upset, and who, as a toddler, would crawl around acting like a puppy to avoid conflict, or curl up in a fetal position in the corner of the room when she felt stressed out. And yet, I see her rising to the occasion before my eyes. When we drove by her new school yesterday, she said, “I can’t wait to go to middle school!” Music to my ears.

Then, this morning, Charlotte asked her for help with the oven. She helped her out and Charlotte said, “Thanks! Thank you, Fenner!” Fenner shrugged and said, “Charlotte, I won’t always be here to help you, you know.”

She’s slowly becoming ok with it – the realization that someday they will all be out on their own. Thank goodness we have seven more years to practice!

Explore posts in the same categories: Week 8: Privileges & Responsibilities

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