We are all together again for the weekend. It’s nice to see us all as a foursome, even if some of the old issues of jealousy and fear creep up. I guess it’s to be expected that as we draw closer for longer periods of time, individual concerns come alive and wanting to make sure that we get our needs met.
Luckily for me, my wife and I are patient. We need to balance trust and boundaries, love with respect, and natural consequences versus times where we can teach the girls lessons. We decide as parents what seems significant against issues that can be tabled until further down the line. We don’t want to be helicopter parents swooping in at all times to save the day.
When it comes to gaining a lot of the bigger freedoms that our girls want, they need to know that a certain level of responsibility and respect comes into play. You can’t get a license to drive without showing people you know the rules of the road and can take a driving test to show you can safely travel in a vehicle. Likewise, as the girls want more of the privileges of adulthood, they need to show us they can handle the ones we give them right now. You don’t just get a cell phone because you want one- or to use a computer anytime you want. You have to show us that you can act respectfully and follow the rules of the household, and then we can extend the wants you desire.
This means that I can’t be on top of them for every decision that they make that I wouldn’t necessarily make. I have to laugh things off and use my sense of humor to get certain points across. I need to understand that they will model appropriate actions and behaviors based on how my wife and I handle things. If we meet anger with anger, then anger is what we will continue to get. They need to know that they can go for the good more often and think before they act- as long as we continue to show that we make those same choices- even when they aren’t looking.
We will have a family get together this weekend and get the chance to hang out, laugh, play games and eat a lot of food. It’s important for them to know how family can repair any of the pain, the fears, and prove that love can save the day. My oldest threw back at me something I’ve preached in the past- a habit forms usually after 21 days of consistent repetition. They have been living out of the house for longer periods of time- so we have to give them that patience and understanding that rebuilding our rules and structure in our household will take that same amount of time- if not a bit longer.
I’m going to enjoy this time. They test, they push, they pull- and they love. They may not know how to express things in the way the way that we desire- but we are working on understanding their communication styles. I believe in their ultimate breakthroughs- however small they may appear. It’s a sign of growth and of health. We shall be all together again- and we will live in a spirit of harmony.