Friday, May 16, 2008

Stories; Yours and Theirs

If you want to give your children, family and friends a true gift, give them your story! I realized this by listening to my children detail what they interpreted of my story. In reality they were telling their stories from being with me because I would catch myself saying to myself, as if I was crazy, who are they talking about! That wasn't who I was, what I was feeling or saying. It was puzzling to hear them or figure out why they felt the way they did but I realized this was their story with me it.

Just as a writer develops their characters, it was interesting to hear the life they had given my character in their life story. It caused me to look back at the fact and fiction. In looking at the facts at the heart of the character of me, I realized there were very little in the characters that actually were drawn from me. I became content when I realized that my oldest child, missed about 18 years of info by the time she drew a serious opinion of me at 15. My second child lost about 23 years of my life by the time she got her strong opinions at 15. My third child lost about 25 years of my story before he got to the point of his life, whereby I knew nothing!

The way I came by this equation was. You take the age you were when you birthed your children into the world, and realize that by the time they start developing your character in their stories of who you have been to them for the first 15 years of their lives, they don't know who, where or how you got to be that person that they think they know. They form an opinion with very little facts, and then start drawing the character they called mom or dad. Remember, that at this stage of their lives, they also want very little to do with history, because that old stuff, that doesn't matter anyway, is only the past! They don't understand how the past connects to the present, but you do. That's why it's important for you to tell your story, because when they get old enough to look back to realize that their stories and your friends, family etc… do not mesh together somehow, you can fill in all the missing pieces (all those details that filled out that character they called mom or dad). Never underestimate the power of stories, especially your own!

I can remember when my children were raised by the tenement of, “…if you spare the rod, you spoil the child). Of course this was before all the laws were put in place, whereby if you discipline your child it could be considered abuse. I remember all of Dr. Spock's theories of child rearing, spanking less, explaining more intellectually. (Time out) so, I did a little of both, whatever was necessary, a balance was the goal. I am all for progressive thinking, is just that you have to understand the hand you were dealt and what is needed. Now, that's wisdom! (Just my opinion!).

A lot of parents today do not appreciate any of the values and wisdom in yesterday's application of discipline. You have to know how to interpret yesterday's message for today's world. If you spare the discipline, you will spoil the child. What does that mean? It's kind of like,"reading the handwriting on the wall". You need to see the signs and act accordingly. If you come upon spoiled food, what does that bring into your mind? Rotten, stinking, obnoxious, something you just want to get rid of, quick and in a hurry! Ask your schoolteachers, how they feel about something that is spoiled. That's the way it is with some of our children without guidance and discipline, others just want to get rid of them, period.! Who do you want to emanate in your training?

These are some things that I thought would benefit our communities and help to establish bridges if we will see the value in our stories. The next generation is beginning to gather the missing pieces, and that shows progression. May all our stories be heard in the recipe, and then it will be complete. If I miss a spice, it will not be the same outcome, it will be something else. Enjoy the gathering and reaffirmation of your families, stories.

There is a lot of talk today about spanking being a form of abuse but in a heathly environment, that leaves a big question mark.There are a lot of inexperienced parents today with not enough resources available or the knowledge that we are not born with parenting skills.This story is not about the horrow stories that are valid by a lot of parents, it is about revealing the truth in our stories so that we can correct the outcome of the next generation.Let your recipe be authentic along with the ability to expand.

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