Just watched Bill Clinton tear apart FoxNews here and now I'm feeling a little fired up. I love Bill, not because I think he did everything right, but because of the quality of his engagement. He's pissed off and is fine with being pissed off. He's way too sharp to let himself be played into these idiotically simple political manipulations, and he's courageous enough to lay it out there and call it like it is; and rip Chris Wallace a new you-know-what.
"You see, when you're hunting for the glad things, you sort of forget the other kind," says Pollyanna. The optimist. "One who looks on the bright side of things or takes hopeful views." One who anticipates a positive future, who looks for the silver lining. The optimist. Somewhat suspect? Are you shallow? Naive? "You don't seem ter see any trouble bein' glad about everythin'," says Nancy to Pollyanna. Is a Pollyanna glow masking great depths of despair? Can you be trusted? How, given hard realities and the suffering of others, can you maintain this relentlessly hopeful attitude? Don't you read the newspaper?
She sits with the phone hanging limply off her finger. Your son is dead. Hit by a car. Hit by a car. She strains to make sense of the words. "What's wrong, Mummy? What's wrong?" She looks blankly at her daughter. "Mummy?" "Daddy, Daddy," her daughter runs shrieking up the stairs, "something's wrong with Mummy." The Germans have a word, schmerz, to describe the physical and emotional pain we suffer when we face a major loss. A friend dies after a long fight with cancer. A family dog is put down. You suffer a miscarriage, lose a leg, lose your hearing. Your marriage breaks up. We fear serious loss. When will it happen? How will it affect me? Will I survive it? Grief is the natural reaction to loss. It is an exhausting process that robs us of both physical and emotional energy. Everything feels so raw, so painful. We are surprised at the depth of our grief, at the toll it takes on our bodies.
Remember those days before children when we could honestly say we couldn’t remember the last time we lost our temper? Do you now find from time to time, you don’t recognize yourself in your own behavior? Children have the ability to push buttons we didn’t even know we had and can push us to a point where we later regret our words and/or actions. Welcome to parenthood. I remember losing it once with my two children over them not going to bed and thinking: “Who was that?” I don’t think there is anything else in the world that brings so much joy while at the same time so much anxiety. Beating yourself up over your reaction to a certain behavior is neither fair on yourself nor productive. We’re all human and often say things we regret. Children need to know we too make mistakes.
For some of us who grew up with siblings we have vivid memories of how our parents handled fighting. Some of us remember always being the one who was blamed; others remember everyone being punished regardless of who the instigator was and some of us remember our parent getting so angry, the fighting only escalated. Over the years, I've often heard adults say they still hold a grudge against their sibling. What can we do to ensure our children grow up respecting and liking each other?
There aren't a whole lot of behaviors that test our patience as a parent more than temper tantrums. If we're over tired, over scheduled, or over worked, it's often the last thing we want to have to deal with. Some children have them on occasion but many children have them regularly.
A common theme over the past 20 years has been how much children have changed from when we were growing up in terms of how they show respect. I know that for the most part in the 1960's, anyone in a position of authority commanded respect which included parents, teachers, police officers, principals, bosses, coaches and anyone else we viewed in some way as a person in authority. We in fact were taught to "obey" and do as we were told; no questions asked. Many of those people did command respect but unfortunately many of them abused their position of power and felt they were licensed to say and do whatever they wanted simply by virtue of the position they held.