Oh, what a great way to start the day…very little pain, just a slight allergy cough, and two pounds lighter! It doesn’t get much better than that. At my age if you don’t wake up with at least a few aches and pains you aren’t living.
I’m going to start you off with a little soapbox lecture this morning, brought on by comments from a couple of people this week. Do NOT blatantly lie to your children! I threw in a qualifier because we all lie, and of course we lie to our children. Its human nature to “soften the truth”, “leave out a few details”, and “put a positive spin” on things when the “truth and nothing but the truth” would hurt our loved ones. However, I’ll be specific and give you three lies you shouldn’t tell a child:
1. This won’t hurt. This applies almost equally to physical and emotional situations. Better to state the obvious, “yes, it will hurt but it must be done” (shots and other medical/dental procedures) and explain how you and the doctor will make it as comfortable as possible. Or “yes, but you are strong enough and brave enough to do it anyway and I’ll be right here with you” (leaving someone, pet dying, divorce). Painful situations, especially emotional ones, are teachable moments when we can let our child know that there are ways to get past the pain and go on with life. No one gets a free ride, and if you tell your child that something “won’t hurt” and it DOES, what and who will he believe next time?
2. I’ll be right back. For most children, this statement means within five minutes. Do NOT tell a child being left at daycare, school, camp, Sunday School, or with a babysitter, that you will be “right back” if you will NOT. I can’t tell you how many people have used that line and left me with a sobbing child who had no clue where his parent suddenly vanished to or when that parent would return! For some reason parents, and a few grandparents, are particularly prone to do this in the church nursery. They put the child down, let him get engaged in playing, and then sneak out. Not a good practice! Your child will become even more clinging, fearing that you will suddenly disappear into thin air. Let your child know where you are going, specifically when you will be back, and then return on time. Do not give in to fits, tantrums, or begging. Be firm, but be truthful!
3. No, I’m not _____. Fill in the blank with hurt, angry, sick, upset, crying, wrong, sorry, or anything else you think a parent should not admit. I was very guilty of this when my children were young. I didn’t want them to think their mom was sickly, ignorant, or emotional. I wanted to be their “rock”, the one who was always calm and rational and right. Didn’t work out that well! You can’t really fool children very often. Of course children don’t need a lot of details about adult matters or situations, but they can sense when you are hurt, angry, or sick. Much better to be honest about it and let them know that you are handling the situation. Sometimes it is even good to let them know how you are handling it.
So…let’s just all be a little more honest with the children today.
I’ll be out in the garden for a while today, and then I’m going to paint my great-grandmother’s chairs. I’ve also picked out a similar “retro” chair at Lowe’s and will be bringing it home next week. I doubt that someone will be sitting in it fifty years from now, but I will enjoy it while it lasts. J They just don’t make things like they used to!
I’m parked until Tuesday. I hate traveling anywhere on holiday weekends, especially ones like Memorial Day that involve a lot of drinking. I don’t understand why everything enjoyable has to be celebrated with alcohol. I can already predict that there will be at least one alcohol-related drowning at the lake. Happens nearly every year. This is supposed to be a time when we honor our departed loved ones, not join them due to sheer stupidity.
Happy birthday again to my Aunt Juanita! All of Mom’s sisters mean so much to me.
Be safe. Be truthful. Have a wonderful day!