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Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Little Ugliness and a Whole Lotta Questions

image: momspark.net
Y'know, kids whose moms blog have a real disadvantage. Mom always has the last word, or...almost always. In my case, thankfully, my kids don't mind. I think it helps that in difficult circumstances, I don't use their names, just their situations.

My hope in sharing these things is that I can look back and see how far we've come. I also hope that other moms might learn to avoid some of the mistakes I make. I do need to state, however, that when things do finally go right, it's only because they've gone wrong in the past, and I've learned from that mistake. So thankful for do-overs.

image: shimanuts.blogspot.com
So, this takes us to this morning. For some reason, everybody was out of sorts this morning. Maybe it's because we've had some really amazingly beautiful weather for a couple weeks. We've gotten used to it. Then, at some point last week, as I looked at the cloudless blue, I verbally announced that I would be okay with a couple weeks of sun and then a day or two of rain, and what do you know? Voila! Rain. I'm not asserting here that I control the weather in any way, shape, or form, but just the fact that I was the one to say it, makes it that much easier to blame me for it. Yup. We're on day two now, and sadly, with the clouds, come the cloudy temperaments around here.

image: comicvine.com
Well, one of the older kids, sitting with one leg draped over a corner of the kitchen table, started out looking a bit bleary-eyed this morning as the rest of us prepared lunches and breakfasts. It was like it was just really difficult to wake up and get going, but as this child got going, the downward spiral began, and the more we spoke, the deeper the spiral became.

As I dropped this child off to school, I asked what I had done to deserve such ugly words, and it was announced, "I hate school." That was how we parted this morning.

image: leadingtheweigh.com
As I drove away from the school, my stomach was in knots, and I said a silent prayer that I'd just be able to keep going. That I'd get home and still be able to get something done....That I wouldn't allow the grumpy children in my home to take the wind out of my sails.

I got to moving, and I have to admit, I didn't have such a skip in my step as I've had for the past few days. It was tough to keep going. Soon, though, the chime rang as a text came in. I read it: "Mom, can we talk after school today?"

image: drsharma.com
This, in my mind, was a cry for help. I wasn't just going to let it go. I couldn't, so I started asking questions--first a yes/no question, then a multiple choice question, followed by an open-ended question.  Each time an answer was texted, the closer I got to the answer. I don't think this child wanted to answer some of my questions as the truth became more evident, but the answers were all greeted with yet another question--no accusing, no criticizing, no side-taking--just opportunities to reveal more of what the exact problem was.

I know well enough that putting my children into corners doesn't solve anything. It only puts us on opposite sides of an issue. When all is said and done, my job is to help them face the truth and then help them create solutions.

When all came to light, this child knew that I was on his/her side. The child knew that the answers had all been created by him/herself.

image: createsolutions.blogspot.com
On top of that, when all was finally revealed as much as it could be and decisions to improve were made, I was able to boldly ask for an apology, which I received. I also shared this little tidbit: "In the future, is it possible that all of that wasted energy could be used to create solutions?" It was agreed that this would be the focus in the future.

I was so glad or that first text and glad to know that I really wasn't the problem. As this child has returned home, things are much improved and the solutions are starting to take shape. There is a good chance that it is too late to completely solve this particular problem, but the great thing, as I look it, is the fact that this child faced his/her own problem by his/herself, created feasible options as solutions and is now taking charge and responsibility to past mistakes. All it took on my part was putting up with some rudeness and asking a lot of questions. Heck, if it was always this easy, I think I might be able to undertake this kind of thing every day.

image: blog.taxact.com
Even if it's not solved, as least the situation leads to learning that I'm hoping will last for a long time. I'm pretty sure this child never wants to go through this again. Grateful for life lessons learned and once again, so thankful for do-overs.

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