I’d like to reflect on one end of the parenting spectrum, the permissive, that is seemingly absent from my life. I’ve struck a very nice balance with that middle ground and increasingly I’m seeing opportunities for my girls’ wills to surface more and more and for my role to be more neutral, when possible. That’s not to say there aren’t those I’m the boss moments, hours…but I’m learning how to react slower and find that new language.
Permissiveness has been equated with neglect in my experience and yet, I think there’s something to learn from letting go, being more easy going, putting things off from time to time, abstain from wallowing in worries or anxiety (like my mom), but to be THERE, the here and now stuff, together to see what happens. I’d like more of this to flow from me because the times I am FORCED to do nothing and just BE, like when we’re ill or a night that comes to me so vividly — one of my daughters landed in the ER from a big fall– are so rich in the experience and now the memory. I feel as if I can recount each second from our night in the ER together, lying on the bed, my hand brushing her hair from her forehead, the light in the room, her breathing, the way my body felt, her gaze–all of it comes back to me in such rich detail. Of course it was a crisis of sorts (everything is OK, but she had some serious stitches to her sweet face) and I slowed it all down. I could have been pacing, texting my husband about what was happening or not happening. We were there for a some time — before and after, just absorbing the present.
I’m goal-oriented, motivated, creative… and it is no big surprise that I came from a rather inert home environment. I equate not producing, not making, not doing with NOT living. Not being in tune with me or my siblings was largely the result of my mother’s inability– she just couldn’t handle much at all. I have a difficult time just lazing, just being and I do see value in it- ironically!! 🙂 I think in my young adult life it took some time to get around to just BEING and now with children, I’ve re-faced that challenge, but with a lot more weight to it.
The presence of some parenting styles, ways of being serve roles, protect us and the absence of some might have served/serve us too. Understanding that is so important a first step. I didn’t really see or connect my aversion with that distant end –permissiveness with my past…
Photos below found mysteriously on my camera. I think they’re Ada’s.