I think I have stumbled onto a new parenting technique and I feel obligated to share. It's where you pretend you didn't hear stuff so you don't have to deal with it. Someone's fighting in the back seat of the car and you have a choice. You can ask them to stop (I've tried this... um... a lot!) and usually it ends up in some sort of tattling situation. I can't really see who started it and frankly I don't care. I just want peace. Isn't that what we all really want? As parents we care less about justice and more about peace and quiet. I dare you parents out there to deny this. But it would seem that this new ignoring thing I have been testing out is just what the Dr ordered. Now I know on occasion things may escalate into a situation where I must involve myself but so far ignoring is doing the trick. I think it just might improve my children's abilities to work things out themselves. Either that or someone is going to get hurt.
Ignoring also works when I don't really want to be found. It may seem a bit dishonest when I hear my name being called to just not answer, but if they can't locate me then they are forced to be more independent. I can't say "no" to the cookies they were going to ask for so it gives them all sorts of opportunity to make decisions for themselves and learn from them. Right or wrong, it's a learning experience. I remember sometimes when my own perfect mother would not want to be found. She'd hide out in the guest bedroom reading a book and we would have to search high and low before discovering her in her secret spot. I didn't really get that then but it makes so much sense now. She was one smart mom! One time she told us we couldn't call her "mom" anymore and she'd be going by "Cynthia." I understand that one now as well.
I am not saying one should practice this kind of parenting around the clock of coarse. Being an involved parent is definitely a good thing most of the time. But there is a time to back off and let kids take care of themselves too. Finding a good balance is key I guess.
I think my new style may be working because just now, I heard a child's footsteps outside my bedroom door and even the sound of the doorknob turning but then they changed their mind, didn't open the door, and walked away instead. I hope that they are taking care of whatever problem they had on their own right now. Someone is chastising the dog. I wonder if I am truly needed right now... No I will be strong and stick to my ignoring guns. Now why do I have that cats in the cradle song running through my head? Perhaps I should break ranks and go give someone a kiss.