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On Happy Endings

I really have no expertise when it comes to happy endings. Miserable endings I could script out perfectly for you though. So when it was suddenly clear to me as a new parent that I was responsible for shading the outlook of the world for my children. When interpreting what they see in movies or read in books, I was responsible for translating the foreshadowing and inferences that would clue my children in to the upcoming plot twists. Life itself needs interpretation for us to decide how it’s going. I knew there were some storytelling rules that I needed to lay down for them.On happy endings on Shalavee.com

The number one rule is that there will always be happy endings in everything I allow them to see. How quickly I realized as I watched my first toddler that he was so susceptible to the change in music and feeling of the videos we were watching. And that it was up to me to protect him and make him feel safe. My sister tells the story about how she was traumatized by watching Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer when she was small. I explained to my son that I would never allow for him to be ambushed by a story gone wrong. And when Fiona was beginning to watch Friday night movies with us, I explained the same to her.

This concept has alerted me to how even the world news, easily seen by the children of families who feel news is acceptable to broadcast without censoring, can be very jarring to them. I filter it out because even I have been jarred by it. And this is how we grew up. Today, the more scintillating news and tv sells the advertisement spots. Because when we forget the television and film industry is for profit, we forget to guard ourselves.On happy endings on Shalavee.com

My generation grew up thinking there were no happy endings. And yet we crave them more than anything. We’ve seen more strife and believe that this is the norm. We were robbed of the happy safe bubble I am trying to give my children. Because eventually and inevitably, they’ll come to understand that yes, there is strife and inequality. But that’s all in good time. It’s up to us to decide how un-sucky their childhoods are before they get to the age of reason.

I have had to create a new space in my head for the possibilities of happiness that I never had before. It’s a type of faith to assume that even though you’ve never felt it and lived it, it still may be possible. I have had a week’s plus worth of days where events went smoothly without crisis and full of kindness and fun with my family. I very intentionally molded those days as such based on a hunch that this was a possible way of living, of being happy. And my hunch was correct. 20 years ago, I might have said that sounded nice but I wouldn’t have believed it was possible. Today I can say it is. And that is happy ending enough.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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Codependency

Codependency is such a dirty word to say these days. I think most people have heard of it and my suspicion is that most people suffer to a degree from it. And like allergies and anxieties, most people also deny that.

I can remember being in a therapy session when I was around 21 and feeling bad about something for my boyfriend. Like I had responsibility for having caused his feeling or I was trying to fix him (no surprise) and the therapist brought this to my attention. This was the first memory I can have of being aware that my tendency to mind-read and try to expect and manipulate other people’s happiness may not be “healthy”. The first time I was busted for being codependent.Codependency on Shalavee.com

I have worked for many many years on figuring out where I stop and other people begin. That place is called a boundary and is perfectly normal to have. In codependent families, people do not take responsibility for their own choices and either pass the blame on to other people or insinuate others have to make up for it. Defensiveness and resentment top the feeling charts in these family situations followed by guilt and shame. To say this is all “unhealthy” would be to understate the effects on the children who grow up here. It’s downright debilitating.

Yet even in the nicest of families, people do what they know and has been done before them. And it has been a real impetus for my emotional growth to not want to repeat the unhealthy behaviors that have been given to me. Children do as they see, not as you say. If I do not take responsibility for my choices and am always blaming others, so will they. Integrity and honesty start in your heart and flow downhill to those you love. So does pain and displacement of that pain. In the end, you are always still responsible for your own happiness.Codependency on Shalavee.com

At the same time, the care-taking of children draws me into areas where I can be dangerously codependent. The need to make sure I’m a “Good “ mother can make me spoil and coddle and mind-read their needs. It can make me ignore my own needs to take care of theirs. And too much of this can make me feel resentful and still I can raise children who take the world and me for granted. If I never allow them to do their work and experience the benefit of it, I am robbing them of identity moments. Opportunities to grow away from needing me.

Thankfully, I’m a Mom who understands that I have a separate life just like my children will. I have to be mindful and cautious not to spoil my whole family to my detriment. But I am certain that I am on the right path to showing them what it looks like to take responsibility for their actions and feelings and to be proud of their accomplishments which are theirs not mine. If you find yourself trying to coerce other people to feel things and are sure you know what everyone is thinking about you, you may want to look into this codependency thing a little more.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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My Children are the Bully and the Terrorist

It’s conflicting to be a parent. They are of me but not mine. I need to be open and honest for them to trust me. But I need to keep a safe distance when they have to work out who they are because sometimes, that work is at my expense. Frankly, my children will bully me to get their needs met. They’ll be disrespectful but only to me. It’s business, not personal. They’re working themselves out and I’ve got the bruises to prove it.

My son’s a bully when he wants more screen time or when he needs food because he’s suddenly starving. And my daughter is a terrorist. It may be emotional terrorism but its exhausting just the same. I wrote about suffering from post traumatic toddler disorder here. She actually cries at me when she has a need. It can be manipulative and it’s part of her survival arsenal.

For me, there’s such a fine balance between being available for them constantly and being vulnerable to burn out. Unless my children are physically not in the house with me, I am never off duty. And they are very entitled to have their needs met. I do draw a line when their needs are encroaching on my needs. But even Miss Sassafras still busts in the bathroom while I’m on the potty despite my protests.

Last week I made a new “chores, expectations, and rewards” chart for my son. The holidays had him spoiled with the amount of screen time he was getting. And without boundaries, he had begun to come at me, pestering me and continually asking me for more time like a true junkie until he hoped I relented.

These new boundaries are now on paper and not up to me. He has an allotted amount of time and if he runs over, it eats into the next play time. He can earn more time by additional chores. But currently the only option for more screen time is raking and he hates that.My Children are the bully and the terrorist on Shalavee.com

Dinner prep in the kitchen is often the worst time for me to be bullied and terrorized. My son, after unplugging, suddenly found himself excruciatingly hungry and badgered me so badly that he was banned from the kitchen. And the rest of the night, my husband had to do negotiations to get my son to apologize to me. Fiona has been known to come at me while my hands are covered with dinner prep badgering me for fruit roll-ups and then crying at me when I deny her. Hunger can make people do crazy mean things.

I understand our collective humanity and how our inner toddlers have needs that they need fulfilled right freaking now. It is survival in process. But I also know that I am the last boundary standing between them and those needs sometimes. I try very hard to not take their disrespect personally but I would do myself and them an injustice if I didn’t stand my ground on what methods are acceptable to get your needs met. The battle will continue I fear but hopefully, in the end, I’ll win the war of raising nice children.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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Safe Inside Your Own Head

How do you guarantee your own safety and comfort in your own head? The declaration that your head as a protected area, a safe zone requires an inner adult. And this statement of safety is then woven into the fibers of our being and we take it wherever we go. Seems my adult needs to show she has my back for me to trust she’s got it wherever I go.

My inner adult is either trustworthy or she isn’t. And when she isn’t, I feel frightened. I do not know or trust that I will be safe. I can rush off conjuring the future mishaps and take responsibility for feelings haven’t felt yet. And boom, anxiety is born. My inner adult needs my support on Shalavee.com

I can easily disregard anything I’ve ever done that may give me knowledge of my trustworthiness. Every day, I can feel like the new girl at the new school scrabbling to survive and not be eaten alive. Surviving.

I forget that no one can touch my soul inside of me. Only I can do that. The rejections can only reach the inner sanctum if I deliver them there. The person guarding the door is supposed to be my adult. Apparently sometimes she steps away for a smoke break and leaves my child unattended and frightened that she’ll be asked to drive and she doesn’t know how.My inner adult needs my support on Shalavee.com

I want all my “parts” to know that they are loved. That I understand why they have decided they aren’t loved or safe or worthy of both and I am making such efforts to convince them otherwise. My inner adult is more than capable of looking my real children in the eye and telling them she’s in charge. I did that tonight in fact. I hope my inner child took heed.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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The Gift of Empowerment

The sound of my whining children is like a mosquito circling my head. But instead of swatting the bug/child, I realize that they always think that they are never going to get their way, get their needs met, or be able to negotiate for themselves. Just as you have to tell them that all movies are make-believe and any movie I allow them to see will always end well, you have to tell them they are allowed to ask for their needs to be met. They don’t know they’re entitled yet to positively ask for what they need. They don’t know their entitlement to empowerment. I have to stop and say,”If you don’t think you want to do that chore now or you’d prefer juice over milk, how about if you say, ‘Hey Mom , can I do that after dinner? or Mom I’d like juice with my dinner instead of milk, is that OK?’ ” And I have them repeat it back to me in that mental voice. Fiona on Shalavee.com

Somehow I am running a dictatorship that I didn’t realize I was running. And I’d rather have them try to reason for what they want than bully me or whine at me yet they just don’t know that’s allowed. Hard to believe that our liberal egalitarian selves have yet to raise insta-empowered children but there you have it.They need to be taught their entitlement to choices and boundaries.

There are no givens in life and it certainly ain’t fair but there is plenty of reasoning if we allow for it. I’d rather raise a child who would stand up for themselves in a reasonable fashion I could respect then a back-talker who’s resentful all the time. It’s just seems I’m on an upward hill to climb to show them empowerment without whining or sass. But the one guarantee I can make is that I will model this behavior of standing up by not allowing them to be disrespectful to me. Lead by that example as I’d wished I’d learned sooner.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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