The latest thought emerging, like so many lately, is not due to solely (or even mainly) to my own insights, but also accredited to my darling friend Melissia. It's amazing how fast I process, simply because she engages with me, spurring me into these shifts.
How wonderful for me! :)
On the way down the canyon from our mama's outing (Friday and Saturday) I mentioned my discomfort (recognition of the "wrongness") with saying "How would you like it if... (I did that to you)?" ie, if Maddy gets pushed, or Annabelle gets mistreated, whatever. For some reason, I've been acting and thinking as if I don't point out bad behavior to Trevelyn, then he won't recognize it. Intuitively, I know that to be untrue.
Let me be explicit....
Today when I was on the phone with Melissia, I hear Eric say "Apologize to your sister!" and I wince and grimace. Immediately I've checked out of my conversation with my friend, and started worrying about what's going on in the den. Melissia wraps up what she was saying, and I tell her of my current dilemma. She graciously excuses me, and I get off the phone.
I come back to the den, and since Maddie seems to be Recovered, and Trev runs over to me immediately, I attend to his needs first.
"What has happened?" asked I.
Eric starts in with his version about Trevelyn ran up to and with arms out-stretched pushed Maddie to the ground, making her hit her head Hard, and she cries in pain and distress, and Eric then insists on his apologizing, and Trev says "Sorry, for God's sakes!"
And then after I speak with Trev about the happenings, Eric pipes in with something like "Now that you mention it, it didn't look like he did it intentionally, he was just exhuberant in his running."
And shortly thereafter I'm pleased, as everything appears to be copasetic again.
I had a Mama's Retreat on Friday night. The players were Teri, Travis, Julie, Aubrey, Alyssa, Melissia, and myself. We went for the night to Teri's family's cabin up near Heber. Had dinner and conversation until 4:30 am, though I checked out (in the chair) at about 4am. Stumbled up to the upper loft to sleep as everyone was disseminating at 4:30.
It was a great time. I didn't at that time work out any personal matters, though the conversation was still intimate and enlightening.
My personal work was really done on the the way up to the cabin, and then with the same company (Melissia and Aubrey) on the way home.
My relationship with Melissia is most satisfying. She enjoys exploring her thoughts and feelings about things very similarly to the way I do. And often at the same pace! It makes for very fortuitous conversation and thought exposure, enabling me to rapidly work through strategies or still-forming ideas.
I'm much obliged to her!
The most recent evolution is moving from the thought of, as I mentioned, if I don't point it out, and Lead, then surely my child is too dense to understand the fact that if he doesn't like being harmed, others don't, either.
As I said, I haven't felt right about the practice. Melissia and I discussed it, asking why would we feel that way (I have to point out your mistakes so that you'll be an empathetic person) instead of just letting them be, as we do with other learning matters. Melissia pointed out that she thinks it's because the stakes are higher. If your child chooses to begin studying geography at 56, so be it. But if she doesn't become empathetic or caring until 80, well, that doesn't do the world or him, any good at all.
So I mentioned that it's fear holding me back.
If I were to treat my children (or all people) as I would want to be treated by personified God walking beside me, what would come of it?
If I had just hurt someone, or made some other mistake, I wouldn't want her (God) to blame or shame me. I would expect him to be kind, loving, and accepting.
So my current evolution is moving from a blaming "You did this!" bashing to a loving acceptance of what is. First I think it would be best to comfort the hurt baby or dog, to express that I feel empathy for others. Or, if something that I love has been broken, an honest expression of my sadness or regret. Not exaggerated, or done for demonstrative purposes, but an honest reaction to the damage that has been done. If it's not a big deal, and easily replaceable, then I'll voice that, too. (Like Julie says, "We can buy another xx, but we can't buy another (child)."
I'm coming to the realization that the best way to raise my children is not by beating over the head with my judgments and values, (which I've always thought but wasn't sure how to practice) but to simply live them. It's hard, but if I want my children to believe that they are divine beings, then the best way to make them feel they are is to treat them as such.
I don't know why I get hung up on "they won't learn this if I don't spell it out", especially since I've learned many things from my childhood that were certainly not directly pointed out to me. ie - "The most effective way to get a child's attention is to scream and yell. If that does't work, start hitting." and "if I don't have others' approval, then I am obviously inferior." and "I am powerless." and so on.
So I'm doing my best to make a shift from "what others expect of me" (insist my children behave a certain way) to "what's best for my children and untimately the world." I shall do my very best to treat my children, quite simpy, as I want others (God) to treat me. It sounds obvious, but it's really quite a long process. I'm sure it will have many more intracacies than I am currently seeing.