It’s Plank Pullin’ time! The one day a week that we strongly resolve to ignore the multitude of specks and sawdust around us and pull one bona fide plank from our own eye. Matthew 7:3-5, style.
I am constantly trying to be a facilitator between the Wild Things to get them to speak to each other instead of running to me to mediate.
My days are filled with such phrases as:
“Mom, Three Year Old won’t stop pushing me!”
“Mom, Five Year Old won’t stop shooting my guy!”
“Mom, Ten Year Old won’t let me play with her petshops!”
And my reply, 99% of the time is, “Talk to him/her, sweetie”.
Because 99% of the time the victim hasn’t even tried to communicate with the perpetrator. They’re just fussing and grunting and being offended without even trying to respectfully have a conversation with the other person.
Because I do make a daily effort to help the Wild Things communicate with each other, we’ve had to talk at great lengths about the difference between respectful communication, condescending communication, and just plain hostile communication.
Left to their own devices, they would lean toward the latter two every. time.
But, I have noticed a marked improvement in the last 6 months since declaring 2011 the year of Respect. They are, in very direct relation to how much I model a good example for them, learning to to communicate respectfully with each other. As a parent, it’s like Christmas and Easter rolled into one when I see them seek out reconciliation with each other without
tattling running to me first.
Here’s where it (finally) gets all planky.
I don’t practice what I preach.
I nag, and huff, and puff, and pout, and vent … to everyone but my perpetrators.
I run straight past the person of my grievance and tattle to someone who I think will be on my side. Which usually ends up being my husband. (You’re welcome, hunny).
Now, I’m both convicted and conflicted about this. While I don’t think it’s necessarily right for me to always vent to my husband (which essentially ends up being steam blowing gossip), I’m also not convinced that I need to be running to my offenders all the time either.
Which is partly the nonconfrontationalist in me talking.
But really, I’m a big believer in taking a deep breath, and moving on. Forgiving, forgetting, what-have-you. Because, meh, confrontation is stressful. And not usually necessary, I don’t think. Especially for petty things.
…but then again, I’m also a big believer in just altogether avoiding a person if they cause me to want to tattle too much.
Now, I know that plenty of people out there are going to be less squeamish than me and insist that confronting people to get things out in the open is the healthiest thing to do. But I’m not convinced in a great deal of cases. Sure, if it’s really big. But the small stuff? The stuff that’s just annoying enough to tattle about? Meh. *shrugs*
I do, however, think an excellent compromise would be running to God instead of besties to do my venting. Eliminates the gossip factor. And would probably be much more productive, to boot.
What do you guys think?
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