We bantered back and forth a bit until he told me that one of the kids at school had spelled “shit” during lunch and everyone giggled. I asked him what that word meant, and he shrugged saying that’s the word he was looking up in the dictionary
Amusement is good in small measured doses, not in vast quantities. The carnival or county fair only comes to town once or twice a year. Any more than that and it would lose its novelty and amusement. But I’m afraid that this natural law of diminishing returns isn’t as obvious in the virtual world.
The rise of self-promotion and narcissistic endeavors is ever growing. The public sharing of ones life is the modern day equivalent to having access to 500 million pen pals. We have less and less face-to-face interactions with people due to the popularity of twitter, facebook, and texting.
Our kids need us to be the adults, the healthy ones who can manage our emotions and not let ourselves get out of control. This is not to say that emotions need to stay internalized or to not be expressed, but that they be expressed in a way that is constructive, not destructive. I’ve spoken with a lot of parents who get the emotions right, but deliver them in harmful and subtly destructive ways.
On the other hand if we live in fear of our legacy dying, we’ll be faced with living in pursuit for someone/something that is bigger than ourselves. This is the hard work of life. (And I stress hard work, because it is truly hard work).
But remember. Remember that little eyes are watching your every move. Watching how you throw your hat across the room, how you emotionally shut down, become numb and lose sight of what’s in front or around you. Remember that the sun will rise tomorrow and while this is a disappointing way to end, it’s not the end.
John Gottman, famed marriage researcher in Seattle, has said that he can predict, with a 94% accuracy rate, if a couple will divorce or not just by observing 15 minutes of their behaviors towards each other. From his research lab, he’s distilled his observations down to 4 key relational components that will destroy a relationship. These are the Four Horsemen. If he detects these issues in a relationship, his research suggests that left unaddressed, the relationship will fail.
Ultimately, I do not have the ability to change my children. They are humans with the same free will that I have, and the same level of uniqueness that I have. So often I want them to be like me. To do like I would do, to react and respond like I would react and respond, well, most of the time. But they don’t. They live in their world and have their own unique way of dealing with life. Often times, this makes me angry.