Sunday, September 28, 2014

Learning to Cope

I sometimes hear parents say “I just want you to be happy” to their children. I hear other parents say that a good spanking will teach respect. Let me begin by saying I do not agree with either of these beliefs. Trying to make your children happy all the time, will give you an adult child who is frustrated because their life is complicated and they do not know how to deal with it. Spanking in my opinion, only teaches children that it is okay for a grown up to harm them. It does not teach respect, it teaches fear. It all begins when they are young. They cry and we want to stop their sadness. They throw a tantrum in the grocery store and we immediately remove them from the situation. Whether they get hurt or they do the hurting, they are learning. Children are learning and look to us for guidance. We need to teach them to cope. You cannot be happy all of the time, and you set your child up to fail by the desire to make it all better for them all of the time. We all experience joy, happiness and love. But we also experience sadness, disappointment, anger and grief. Without acknowledging these feelings as being just as important as happiness, we give our children a great disadvantage in life. We have given them the expectation that everything will work out and run smoothly throughout their whole lifetime, but haven’t given them the tools to make it work out. Only by teaching them to cope with every emotion, can we honestly say we have done a good job in giving them the foundation they need to get through life. By promoting only happiness, we have set them up to fail. I, like everyone else, fell into that habit in the beginning of my parenting, but having a child that had her own different needs taught me the lessons I need to learn about life not always being pleasant and happy. Emotion is energy in motion, and we have to equip our children with the tools they need to understand and deal with every one of them. Life is messy, but it is also a beautiful, intricate, sometimes exhausting but also exhilarating experience. And when you learn to navigate it rather than always trying to be “happy”, it is a more fulfilling experience.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The love of a pet

There is something about me that not many people know. I love to write poetry. My first published poem was right after I had given birth to my daughter and the poem was about her. There is something so deep and meaningful when a poem is written. It is like a piece of your soul. Life has become very busy and it has literally been a year since I have written a poem. As with life itself, I don’t necessarily follow the “rules”. My poetry comes from my inner self and sporadically I feel the need to write a poem. When that happens, I write it verbatim as it comes into my thoughts. I never change it or correct it. It is the rawest form of expression and I leave it as such. Today I was prompted to write this poem and I hope that you like it:

The love of a pet

(Dedicated to those who have loved and lost a pet)

The love of a pet is like no other we will ever know

Unconditional their love flows freely to us each day

And all they ever ask of us is to be loved in return

To be cuddled and cared for in each and every way

They wake us with kitty cat paws and doggy wet kisses

And greet us with unbridled joy at the end of the day

They are family, friend and companion all in one

They teach us to trust and they teach us to play

Sadly, pets only stay a short while here on Earth

They are waiting in heaven for us to join them one day

And what a day that will be when we see them again

Greeted by furry hugs and kisses where together we will stay

All of God’s creatures are special and unique for sure

But the love of a pet will remain with you and never go away