Monday, October 6, 2008

Healing: Trust in the power of love

Friedrich Nietzsche said "That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger". I spent a huge chunk of my day reading blogs on healing. Thank you, Barbara, for hosting the Healing Carnival, and for challenging us to explore this topic: TherExtras

Healing, by definition, is restoration: being restored to "health" whether it is emotional, spiritual or physical. The focus of this blog is parenting, so I'll explore my thoughts on parent/child relationships.

My oldest daughter is currently still wallowing in the mire of "my friends can't believe how cold you are" - mostly because we *finally* learned to tell her "NO!" Our middle daughter, now married and living with her husband and our 4-month old grandson in PA continues to offer hope "You're not that bad" and "when are you coming to visit?" Our youngest daughter is making contact, but has not invited us to parent weekend at the university she is attending. Since she declined our funding, do we impose? Should we drop in uninvited? Now that we have travel plans to PA (so we know our schedule), maybe we can offer to buy lunch/dinner one Sunday later this month? I like that idea....

And for our son, the one that is still at home, and still most affected by our parenting techniques: his grades for the 1st six weeks spanned from the 60's to 100. His biggest problem is missing homework. He is blaming marching band (lots of hours rehearsing). I don't buy it. Too many hours on the computer or nose-in-a-book seems a more plausible explanation. So - we've delivered the big blow. We did not buy him a ticket to Pitt, PA to see his sister, brother-in-law and precious nephew. Since the cheap fair involved weekday travel, I can't see pulling him from school given his current academic performance.

We're planning a Round II to PA (Philly) in November to see some old friends (lake buddies with a daughter same age as our son) and to see our oldest grandson (in ~Syracuse, NY). This will also require some weekday travel so we're telling our son now that if he wants to participate, he'd better be on the ball with his school work. Now that I'm thinking about it, I may tell him that if we buy his ticket but he ends up missing the trip because of his grades....we'll require him to pay us back. The tickets are running about $250/round trip and we'll need to buy them a few weeks in advance of the travel-dates. Thoughts?

Our son was very unhappy when we let him know he wasn't going with us for PA Round I, but hubby and I maintained our cheerful, loving disposition and we all moved past it. I'm glad. Our son's a smart kid and I know he can do better in school. I firmly believe that delivering a matter-of-fact consequence and moving on is the best course for all of us. I'm interested in any stories that other parents/children can share. I think that love and affection can balance the pain of consequences. Let me know if you agree.


dallasdiva said...

I totally agree, and I need not remind you that I am the greatest parent that ever lived . . . no one can say differently : )

OK, back to you. He should just be starting the second six weeks - can you give him to the three week mark to see his grades? If they are all b's or higher- buy the ticket with the caveat that he must maintain B's or higher to actually go, otherwise he has to pay you back for the ticket. If they aren't B's or higher, no ticket. School is his primary job right now, and if he isn't doing it well going every day then he certainly isn't going to do well missing!

you gotta wonder said...

You are the bomb.

Jeanette said...

Great advice from dallas divas. I think she hit the nail on the head. He'll come around. He is testing the waters after watching the girls each do thier thing. "Hmmm, what will mom and dad do with me?"

Princess Abigail said...

Thats a really hard one.
Our ten year old is in a similar situation. His marks in school rocket from 20/20 to 3/20, for no apparent reason. Its difficult to draw the line between pure punishment and gently nurturing him into wanting to learn. It creates terrible conflicts between him and his father. He works better with me, but as a full time worker with long hours, that's just not happening. Isn't it hard to balance things out sometimes? I just wish there was more of me to go round!

you gotta wonder said...

Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. I just checked the school calendar, and I'll talk to hubby about setting a date to buy the tickets. I'll also talk to our son to make sure he's bought in. I think it's important for him to take ownership of his grades (and the consequences).

I definitely want to avoid emotion/conflict here. Love and affection must reign (yet somehow avoid anarchy).