Tuesday, September 15, 2009
BE vs DO
I'm working my way through re-reading The 10 Commitments. Some of them I feel like I've got down pretty well- like Making Messes. Some reading and listening if you are so inclined... From The 10 Commitments... This is the 4th Commitment. The Fourth Commitment I commit to managing my mind first. I realize that how I approach a situation affects the outcome and that I alone control my approach. I attend to and manage my frame of mind before I approach my children. I move UP in my consciousness before I move IN with action. I manage my mind first. Here's a link to a radio bit that Thomas and Chick have done on this subject. Move UP before you move IN. Focus on how you want to BE before you take action what you are going to DO. BE vs Do. This theme has really been sticking with me lately. I've read this chapter a few times in the past couple of weeks. The message has come up at church several times. Opportunities to see the BE vs DO or UP before IN idea have been coming at me nonstop. I made a list of what kind of parent I want to BE. If I am mindful of what kind of parent I want to be, I have a resource to call upon to remind myself of how I want to BE with my children. I also know how I don't want to BE. And my challenge is to make choices that keep me on the path to BEing. I want to BE: Loving Understanding Teaching Fun Silly Engaged Calm By knowing what kind of parent I want to be, I am armed to make better choices in what I DO. It's the foundation. Otherwise, I'm just trying to employ techniques that have no strong basis in anything. Hand in hand with this way of thinking is Parenting From The End First. Knowing the result you want and finding ways to empower your child through choices to get there. Parenting is hard work! It takes effort and time and planning. What I want may have to be set aside for the sake of teaching, growing, raising up the kind of people I want my kids to become. And I knew that when I signed up for this gig! It is HARD to remember it sometimes. When we are rushing out the door and we woke up late and the routine has to be shortened... that is hard on my little people, it's hard on me. But if I take the time to do my parenting best... to focus on how I want to BE... the DOing will happen more easily. Moorman and Haller also focus a lot on seeing problems as perfect. Seeing behaviors as perfect. Writing on the wall, talking back, getting a speeding ticket, missing curfew, having a meltdown... all of those choices made by my child are perfect! Perfect learning opportunities. And if I can train myself to start seeing it that way, it will make a world of difference. So my challenge to myself is to keep in mind how I want to BE, remember the end before I make and offer choices of how to get there, and see the problem as a perfect learning opportunity, a perfect growth opportunity. It's hard to set my self aside. It's hard to realize that I'm, essentially, bullying prior to jumping in like that. It's bathtime "because I say so." Eat your food "because I say so." Things just work better when I focus on BE, END, and PERFECT. *** It's funny... we are quick to blame bad behaviors of our children on our children. We rarely start with ourselves. We read parenting books and employ techniques and rewards and punishments and so on. We wring our hands because nothing is working. We blame ourselves- but we rarely stop what's going on and start where we actually need to start- with ourselves. I discovered that I had a knack for dog training and was very passionate about it. I might have even been able to develop a career had I wanted to... I became obsessed with the TV shows and books and online resources that focused on pet behavior problems. And you want to know the main theme that almost always came up as the baseline problem? The owner! The owner was doing this or that or whatever and that had to change or else the dog would never be able to learn to behave a certain way. The owner's choices were teaching the dog to be scared, to be needy, to be ferocious, etc. Why is it ok to say that to a dog owner but not to a parent? Not to a spouse? Not to a friend? It's not a matter of blame. By why can't we recognize that the choices we make as parents are, essentially, training our children's behaviors? Just a sidebar on self-responsibility... If you are analyzing your role in a situation and the bottom line comes down to you deciding that someone else is to blame... then you are not recognizing your role, your responsibility. An action might be someone else's choosing and that action may have negative consequences for you. But you always have a choice. There is no situation where you don't have some sort of choice- in how you react, in how you proceed, in what you say, in what you write. So how about you? How do you want to BE? Apply it to parenting or marriage or or friendship or co-workers. Have you decided how you want to BE? Have you thought about it and allowed it to influence your actions before you DO?