Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

So Let The Love Tear Us Apart

Unfortunately, my Flaming Sword has been in action this week as we deal with the aftermath of The Formal, The Wombats and a general inability to get on with things.

For all my espousing, the act of invoking consequences is an unpleasant one. I guess that's why I call it a flaming sword. The old adage 'this hurts me more than it hurts you' whilst not entirely true, does echo eerily around the walls at times like this. No one actually enjoys depriving a child of a prized possession or the opportunity for an outing and sometimes the results appear, initially, to be somewhat counter-productive.

When I think back to my own parents' attempts to dole out discipline and consequences, the thing I remember most was how the disapproval lingered. Years later, as an adult, when I made mistakes I railed against my mother's need to analyse the incident. Essentially, I knew I had done the wrong thing, I felt bad and I needed no further rubbing of salt into the self inflicted wound. So now as I wrestle with the naked resentment which comes from having one's comforts removed, I have to remind myself to roll with it. I have to try not to harp on about the infraction, not focus on the unfortunate behaviour; but equally shake off the rejection when day to day niceties are rebuffed. I have heard myself comment recently, 'I don't know why you're being snippy with me. I'm not the one who made the bad choices.'

Things have got to change around here. We have been doing too much. I have basked dangerously in the laurels of having a 'lovely kid', to mix a metaphor. I had momentarily forgotten that she is indeed, just a kid.

Unfortunately, it is the BA who has, ultimately, to suffer the consequences.

image credit


chaoticfamily said...

Hang in there! Thinking of you all and think you both are pretty fantastic.

sinead said...

now i want to know what she did!

Anonymous said...

Now at the age of 74 I look back on myself as a Mother.I was made a Mum at 23 and really didn`t know quite what was involved.I loved my first baby with a passion to do the right things....feeding, clothing, and safety etc but at the age of five years when she exhibited a period of negativism I couldnt understand what was going on. I consulted some one who asked me what I thought Love was.I showed my lack of understanding by quoting my previous things I thought mattered to my child as I believed these things showed I loved her. With two other children later and learning about child development I realised I had made lots of emotional mistakes as a Mother. However I am lucky to have been able to apologise to them all for my failings and I think and hope they have all forgiven me as we go on with our lives.For all the mistakes I made ,and they were many, I know that motherhood is a difficult road,but you, dear Arizaphale you have knowledge and a deep understanding heart of the real meaning of love and forgiveness.It will not always be a smoothe road but your daughter is lucky to have such a woderful empathic person as you for her Mum.She is doing normal things of her age.Love Her!

Arizaphale said...

Erinne: thanks mate!
Sinead: and now you know :-D
Anon: Motherhood is indeed a bumpy journey even when you have training and an intellectual understanding of what to expect.It is a great achievement to have got through it, with all its pitfalls, and maintained deep and loving family relationships as you have.I hope I will be able to look back, as you do, and know I have done my best.

Elisa said...

Oh boy...sounds unpleasant around the homestead these days. Hold fast...I firmly believe that once we set on a course, we really have to follow through. while the kiddos may not like what's going on, they will respect that you did not cave. And if they don't respect it, you've at least taught them a lesson about how to deal with you.
It's a difficult task to wield the flaming sword and sometimes I think it does hurt us more than it hurts them. They lose a creature comfort, a privilege, a treat...in return, they take away civility and niceties and those emotional issues are more hurtful than the loss of physical things.
As I often have to remind myself...they are kids doing normal kid things. "Pushing the envelope" is quite normal - as is the resentment when you push back.

This too shall pass.

Jill/Twipply Skwood said...

Hmmm...well, I was wrong. Reading backwards did not help me figure out what was going on.

But I'm sorry things have been tough.

On this though

"Years later, as an adult, when I made mistakes I railed against my mother's need to analyse the incident. Essentially, I knew I had done the wrong thing, I felt bad and I needed no further rubbing of salt into the self inflicted wound."

I do think that there are times when our involvement makes things worse instead of better. If they're already feeling bad, why give them the opportunity to shift any of the blame to US?!?! Sometimes the natural consequences can speak to them better than we can.

And if we can manage to muster up any sympathy whatsoever then it's even less likely that they can shift blame from themselves to us. Mind you, I've only been successful with this tactic once or twice in my Sweet Pea's life, but I do believe in it for some circumstances even though I can't accomplish it.