Friday, October 28, 2011

31 Days of Words for the Daily Dash-Day 28

Since I don't know if I'll ever actually meet Dr. Kevin Leman to thank him, I'm going to do it here. Thank you, Dr Leman. I wholeheartedly agree with a description on your website: You bring common sense to common problems.  One of Dr. Leman's books in particular has been helpful in my marriage, and one of his quotes has been particularly helpful in my parenting. I'll share the book at the end of this post and share the quote now.

Don't spit in their soup.

Really, until I heard this quote and had its meaning explained, I was guilty, guilty, guilty. I won't claim that all spitting has completely stopped at this point in my parenting career, but it has decreased. And, oftentimes, the spit stays in my mouth because I remember Leman's words.

As a parent, I am bombarded with questions. When the junior high and the high school years are in full swing, a lot of those questions begin with the words, "Can I go...?"  But here's the rub. You hear the request and as you are processing whether to say "yes" or "no," you begin leaning toward "no" even though there's no outstanding, blatant reason to say "no."  You just know that you aren't 100% excited about the doing of whatever it is or the timing of the subject at hand.

But you begrudgingly decide to say "yes." And the key word in that last sentence is begrudgingly. You're saying "yes" with your mouth, but every other part of your body is communicating things like, "I don't really want to say yes, " or  "Why do you have to go do stuff all the time? or, "This is really a bother to me." It's even worse when the negative nonverbal cues find their voice and you actually hear yourself following the begrudged "yes" with things like the joy killing, "Don't think we are going to make a habit of letting you do this." That, my friends, is spitting in your child's soup. It's like handing them a balloon they really wanted and poking it with a pin right as you place it in their hands.

Thanks again, Kevin Leman, for saying these words that have taken root in my parenting soul. My heart's desire is for my "yes" to be "Yes!" with my kids. And when "no" needs to be said, when it's the wise thing to say, I want to say it with the same amount of gusto and conviction.

And I want to remember what I shouldn't do.

The book I mentioned at the beginning of this post is Sheet Music. No matter how long you've been married, it's worth the read. 

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