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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Staying in Position

image: amazon.com
Yesterday it was one shinguard. Today it was church pants.

The list of missing items in this house is NEVER ENDING, and it makes me CRAZY!

When my kids play soccer, I sit on the sidelines and by the time the game is over, my legs ache, and I feel like I've had a huge ab workout. I'm sitting there kicking right along with them even though I'm sitting in a chair.

One thing I've heard the Warden say, as he's watched the kids' games, is "Don't get sucked over."

I'm afraid that because I have very limited soccer experience I don't really understand what this means first hand. I now only know what it means because the Warden has had to explain it to me.

"Don't get sucked over" means, don't leave your position on the field. Stay in your spot. Don't let the temptation to be in the middle of the action mean that you're not in your rightful area should the ball make it over in that direction.

image: planetall.blogspot.com
A few weeks ago, one of our children got "sucked over" and the other team scored. It was a very sad thing.

The reason I write about getting sucked over is because it happens to us moms sometimes, but I'm happy to announce that it didn't happen to me this morning. I must clarify, though, that my field is my very own home.

Each person in our home has a position on our "field." We all have things to defend and keep safe--sometimes these things are shinguards and church pants.

This morning, I decided to help one of the kids look for church pants. The child was looking also, and because I was all ready for church and had some time on my hands,  I felt more than happy to assist. As I went in and started looking through shelves, I found some interesting items--books, toys, etc. I asked the child to take a couple of cars and put them away in their rightful places. He did, and as he returned, he started to bug his brother who was standing in the doorway talking to me.

I stopped what I was doing, got up, and walked out. The child was a bit surprised and unhappy that I would just walk away like that.

My response to this reaction: "I only help kids who are kind to my other kids."

When the game is played within the "rules," "limits," or "boundaries" I've set, I'm perfectly happy to play, but the game loses all of its fun when I allow myself to get "sucked over" to the other side of the field.

image: 47hats.com
The child came to me to plead his case. I shared with him just what my rules for myself are. In this particular case, "I am happy to return to help once you have made things right with your brother." Because there had been some unkind touching going on, there had to be a kind touch initiated by the offending party. I sent him to give his brother a hug. You'd've thought I'd asked him to stick his head in a lion's mouth. This just was not going to happen. I told him that that was fine, but I had already shared my conditions with him. The rule had been shared and understood, and it didn't need to be repeated. The only thing left was for the conditions to be fulfilled.

After quite a few minutes, he worked up his courage, apologized and hugged his brother, but by that time, he was too late. I told him that because I only had a few minutes available before we had to leave for church, he would have to search on his own. I was sorry he had taken so long to work it all out, but there was nothing I could do about it.

As I watched him struggle, it was very similar to sitting on that chair on the sidelines. Oh, how I wanted to get in there and do it for him, but how is that helping him achieve and grow?

Because of my boundaries, I was able to stay on my side of the field. No one was able to score on me because I was defending my goal--to take care of my own well-being. In other words, to not be somebody's doormat.

image: blueeyedennis-siempre.blogspot.com
I have lots of rules for myself. These rules keep me from a LOT of stressful situations in my home. Here are a couple more that were used this morning:

  • I will talk to you as soon as your voice sounds like mine.
  • I will respond to you when the word "Mom" only has one syllable and is spoken respectfully.
  • I will help you look as soon as you have on what you've already found.
  • I will help you as soon as you're helping yourself.

When I express my rules to my kids, the one guideline is that I share them in a positive way. I want them to know that I care for and respect them, but I also want to set the example that I care for and respect myself. If I show them how I protect myself in my position, my hope is that as adults, they will be able to do the same for themselves in theirs.

So, in many cases, I sit on the sidelines and cheer them on. I, though they're often not aware of it, frequently experience sore legs and abs because of their choices, but I have to say, I love it when we're all playing by the rules, and I can really get in there an play right along with them.


LeAnn said...

You are an awesome mother. I loved all your thoughts on rules and choices. This was a great post on raising children.

pioneerfamily said...

Wonderful! That was very inspiring!

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