Thanks for Reading Suburban Adventure

Monday, June 20, 2011

Criticism- just say no

I recently read a very interesting piece of writing by author, W. Livingston Larned. I was in my parents house when I came across a book of short stories. I had the opportunity to relax a little bit this weekend so we headed to my Mother's pool and indulged. I began to read one of the stories called "Father Forgets". I found it simply yet the message was strong and meaningful.

We all raise our children differently. Some of us are more stringent with our expectations while others take a more laid back approach. "Father Forgets" recounts the sentiments of a father who is self-reflecting about the manner in which he reprimands his young son. This reflection comes in the night after his child is sleeping. Each day the father continually harps on the boy, telling him how and where and what to do. He yells at him for making a mess and not eating right and buttering his bread in the wrong manner.

His son is loving and affectionate, yet his father is not and continually harps on him finding fault in all that he does. From School to playtime, there is not a moment in which he does not see his son without a critical and judgmental eye. The father is unrelenting in his criticism until one night he is filled with guilt. He is overcome with emotion as he has pondered the continual mistreatment of his son and he is riddled with remorse. His own emotion renders distress and a sickening sense that festers inside of him must be released. He goes to his sons room and shares his soul with him.

The father comes to the conclusion that he has been treating his son as if he were a grown man. He had expectations that a little boy could not possibly live up to. He has been unfair and he was filled with sadness. He promised that going forward he would "bite his tongue when impatient words come." It is a meaningful two minute read that is packed with a great message. When I put down the book, I entered self reflection mode immediately and began to think of my approach to parenting.

As the sole custodian of my children, it is of extreme importance to me that my children are well-behaved, intelligent, well-rounded, compassionate, friendly, descent and grounded.
There is not a day that goes by that I do not direct, instruct or advise one or both of my children. I try to expose them to different cultures and encourage them to see how others live.

They know that they are fortunate and they have also learned that if they want to live with the finer things in life in a beautiful area, they will need to shine and work extremely hard. I try very hard not to criticize my children. I will happily reprimand them when they need it and correct them if I see their manners not appropriate but I do it in a very loving manner. Im mindful and approach child-rearing with great thought. On occasion we all get angry but if you get in the practice of being mindful of your words before speaking you can craft the outcome in a manner that will be far more beneficial to your child.

I teach Christopher and Giavanna with real example, and expose them to the truth. I take every opportunity to expand their knowledge well beyond the perimeters of my beautiful yet homogenized community. They have a great perception of people and behavioral patterns which Im very happy about. The trust that they have given me to guide them is 100 percent and Im blessed with kids that I don't have to scream at too often.

People are emotional and sensitive even if they don't appear to be. Be careful of your biting words as they will do more harm than good. I think Behjamin Franklin had it right. When asked what the secret of his success was he replied, "I will speak ill of no man,"... and speak all the good I know of everybody." Enough said......

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