Monday, June 15, 2015

Resistance and Yielding

I've been thinking about the above quote by Han and Harmony, lately.

The last few weeks have been anything but yielding. With summer edging closer, we have all been feeling "done" with the school year. But where the kids have been falling behind in their work and motivation, I have been falling into nagging mom mode, trying to get them to be responsible to the end.

For starters, Reese has been dragging, EVERY morning. Really, just to get this child out of bed has been a chore. Ethan gets up early but always gets lost in a video game.

Pack your bag, make your snack, fill your water bottle. Ethan, did you charge your phone? Nag, nag, nag till they get on the bus.

Then there was the case of missing homework. They both have homework agendas and bring home them home everyday but lately very little to nothing gets written in them.

Ethan tries to remember all his homework in his head while Reese has taken to condensing homework assignments into initials.

Do you know what this stands for? I don't. And neither does Reese, anymore.


When Ethan came home with a note for 2 missing math homeworks, he felt bad but not bad enough to make up the work.  Did I mention that he had a quiz the very next day? Doing the work just made sense but he didn't see it that way.

She doesn't check old work. It doesn't matter. She just wants your signature.

I couldn't let it go. Nag, nag, nag I went on about responsibility and the right thing to do.

<When force meet force, there is bound to be resistance.>

We went around and around on this one until I rendered my son speechless. Not because I was right but because I had made the kid feel bad, really bad about his choice.

He didn't want to argue anymore. He just said OK turned on his heels and left the room but not before I noticed his face tense up and the tears start to well in his eyes. I made the kid feel horrible and now I felt horrible.

<Even if the greater force wins, it will come at great cost and effort. But most of this effort goes mainly to dealing with the resistance produced by force. It is an inefficient way to deal with a problem. Worsening matters, the use of force may lead to more problems and mistakes.>

Did I win the argument? What did being right matter compare with the feelings I left him with in this heated and charged exchange? What did I teach him?

This isn't the sort of parent I want to be. Nag, nag, nag, fight, fight, fight.  There has gotta be another way.

And so I am reflecting on water this week. 

Water is yielding...It doesn't resist.

Instead of meeting a problem head on, it is better to take an indirect approach if possible. Try to find a way that doesn’t produce resistance. When you focus your influence where resistance is weak, you are likelier to succeed in solving a problem. It is merely a matter of time.

Finals are this week...wish me (and Ethan) some luck.

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