This amazing, beautiful and delicious dessert is a symbol for me in RIGHT SIZING. You see, I order this dessert and usually share with someone at the table. We enjoy this decadent creation, every last bite. Do we feel 100% satisfied and satiated? We don't, we could totally devour another one. But in the wise words of my house mother when I lived in Luxembourg, "Paige, always leave the party when you are still having fun." What does that have to do with parenting? I'm so glad you asked!
1. Stuff - Yes, we can jam 20 more books on that bookshelf in their room, but does it really make them a better reader? Yes, they are amazing artists, but does keeping every scrap of everything really honor them or you if it's cluttering the kitchen, their room, your room? I understand they LOVE their stuffed animals, but do they enjoy and take care of their stuffed animals?
2. Nice - Yes, we want our kids to be happy, but if we buy something for them every time we go to the toy store have they learned anything about delayed gratification, or the paradoxical pleasure of hard work and buying it themselves? Yes, they are tired, that's why they are acting like jerks, but if we ignore the mis-behavior and make excuses for them, have they practiced managing strong emotions (and I know for sure us adults continue to have PLENTY of strong emotions).
3. Strict - Yes, we want our kids to know boundaries and respect our authority, but have we overlooked that we might be able to trust them? Have we considered who will nag, cajole, motivate them when we are not around? How can they listen to the voices in their ownhead if we are always drowning it out with our corrections, good ideas and nifty tips?
4. Attention - Yes, we want our kids to know we love and appreciate and care for them, but if they are our full time projects who is going to live our lives? Us middle-age folks still have some developing, growing and learning to do. The white hot spotlight of parental attention can be tiring and a burden to our children, let's make sure we share the joy and burden of our attention.
Where in our lives can we right size our stuff, our parenting style, our attention? Where can we enjoy every last morsel of deliciousness without over indulging?