Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Published 11:03 AM by with 2 comments

Wednesday Wanderings

Today all the links are related to parenting or children, so enjoy! There was also one article that made me think deeply about my past experience as a child, so I wrote more about it at the end of this post.

Some children are more difficult than others. Much as I hate labels, the fact stands. That doesn't mean they have less value, intelligence, or beauty, or are deserving of less love, but they take an extra amount of patience and understanding. Even though we may want some sort of concrete diagnosis of a problem that might help "solve" them, sometimes there is just no cure except to love them harder.

Speaking of learning how to deal with difficult children, I was so excited to find this article, because it gave some wonderful ideas on how to handle temper tantrums without having a meltdown of your own! Yes, Harmony throws tantrums already. Time to don my super-hero cape ; )

"The other day, my husband came home tired after a long day at work. He wasn’t feeling well, he’d had a fight with a co-worker, and he’d encountered snag after snag in a report that had to be done by the end of the day. He had yet to tell me, but he was also very concerned about upcoming budget cuts. He came inside, changed out of his work clothes, and sighed as he sank wearily into a living room chair.

I told him that he hadn’t yet fixed the drain in the kids’ bathroom sink, and that I expected him to do it as soon as possible.

“Are you serious?” he asked me. “I just got home, and – ”

“I asked you to do something,” I told him firmly, “and I expect you to do it with a good attitude.”

This is how one blogger begins a story that explores how we discipline our children. It's an intriguing read, that challenged what I thought about this subject. Also, once you've read the article, head on over to this place where a woman writes about how she no longer sees God's parenting as deliberately cruel, by "snatching us up and taking us out to the woodshed". 

Some countries ban parents from giving their child certain names. If you want to name your baby "Justice", "Mafia No Fear", "Honour", or "Rogue", don't move here!

"Loving my wife and children takes creativity of the highest sort. So does working my job, and loving my friends and neighbors. Yesterday’s affection cannot be recycled. Today’s bread must be fresh." So writes one man who contemplates what it means to be a creative parent.

This last link really struck a chord with me, so I wrote my thoughts on it first. 

I'm hoping that when the day comes where a stranger incredulously asks me, "Are you really HER mother?" and points to my fair-skinned, light haired daughter, that I will be calm and gracious enough to simply reply, "Yes, and I love her very much." My mom used to get asked if she was the babysitter or the nanny for my sister and I when we were younger; she has light skin, hazel eyes, and brown hair, but my sister and I looked much more like our dad: dark tanned skin, very dark hair, dark eyes. It wasn't until we were much older that we began to really show features of both our parents instead of just one.

My mom always responded with a smile to those people who questioned her, not making a big deal out of what could have escalated into an awkward situation, yet even as a little child I remember feeling hurt that a stranger would be so presumptuous. Even if we had been adopted, my mom would still be my mom! To us, skin color didn't matter. We were a family.

Racial stereotypes still exist, though. If we lived in a place like New York, or California, then I would probably get mistaken for a Hispanic nanny more often. Technically Chris and I are a "biracial" couple. But how about we focus on the only race there is: the human race! People groups from all over the world may have different nationalities, ancestry, features, cultures, and ethnicities, but we are all part of humanity. Let's celebrate how our diversity makes us beautiful, not separate.

Hopefully more and more people will be willing to look past stereotypes and only see a mother and child at the playground or supermarket, instead of assuming that I might be something else based on my heritage. My daughter is my daughter. End of story : )

Here is the article where another mom talks about raising children who don't look exactly like their parents.



Brenna Forrey said...

Just before we moved out of the apartment, the landlords sent Kim a notice that we were running a daycare, which was strictly prohibited in the lease and worthy of immediate eviction. Our "crime" occurred long before we had children: I married a non-white person, knowing full well that the non-white genes would be dominant in our children. Their assumption still disgusts me and I'm glad my husband handled that email instead of me. Mama Bear would have been unleashed if I was responsible for the reply . . .

On the other hand, there was a lady way back when Yonah was 3-4 months, who was so excited to see young people pursuing adopting, too. It didn't even occur to me to be offended in that instance, and instead smiled, politely corrected her, and commented that we were hoping to adopt as well in the future.

Lyssa said...

Wow, Brenna. Your story moves me to tears. I just wish people wouldn't assume that because the color of a woman's skin is different from the skin color of the child in her arms, that she couldn't possibly be the child's mother. I would have reacted in disgust, too!

May God give us His grace to answer situations like this with His love and patience in the future.