Acting Out

Children react to things that they do not want to do with a pretty standard reaction. They push back on reasonable requests. Say no. Throw a fit. Or just plain ignore you and do what they want to do.

As they mature we help them see healthy ways to have these conversations. We help them see when they should do things they do not want to do. We help them convey their emotion in a healthy way. They start to develop their own ability to process their thoughts and feelings and convey them in a socially acceptable way.

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Through the process, they become more mellow.

Their behavior changes when their parents call them out on unacceptable behavior.

How are you acting like a child (saying no, throwing a tantrum, ignoring requests)? How are you acting like a parent (calling others out when they act in unreasonable ways)?

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Mama Bear

**DISCLAIMER: I am not pregnant and my wife is not pregnant in any sense of the word.** 

I am afraid of parenthood. For 1000 different reasons, I am genuinely afraid, both from the perspective of a healthy respect for something. My fears range from viewing a mama bear across a valley through binoculars, respecting the mama bears power and strength from afar; to, the genuine terrifying fear of someone who is fleeing from a mama bear after they accidentally stumbled into her and her cubs. 

Really, it is quite terrifying when I think about. I am bringing a small, miniature human into the world. My teammate and I are uniquely responsible for feeding them, clothing, changing, and appropriate nutrition. Then there are the psychological needs as well. We have to encourage them, love them, and provide the essential building blocks of human social interactions. All the while also maintaining their physical needs. I can’t divide these tasks between my wife and I. If one of us doesn’t do enough, in the physical or emotion needs then we have a disaster on our hands. And the thing that really gets my goat about it all, I don’t even know how good a job I did for 18 years? 20 years? 25 years? 40 years? The nail in the coffin is, there is no test drive, manual, or perfect recipe.

No amount of babysitting will ever prepare me for a lifetime of parenthood. 

Trial by fire. 

Much like our friend who is being chased by the mama bear, he only knows if he is going to live because is or is not caught by the mama bear.

Now that I’ve hopefully given you a glimpse of my minor apprehensions about having children, it is time for the coup de grâce in the conversation, “I do not get to set aside my own issues in order to rear this youngling.” All of my upbringing, good experiences, bad experiences, and brokenness will be present in the way I bring up this little “bundle of joy.” I do not get much of a choice in this either. 

Finally, we have the the wildcard in the conversation. Me and my friends.

I had a conversation with a friend about the contents I of the post and he picks it apart for me immediately. I had a conversation with a friend who knows me, who has lived with me, who has known me through my life’s struggles. He says to me, “Yeah, you really need to work through your stuff with your dad, it will make all of this so much better.”

How right he is. I am afraid of my children being negatively affected by my decisions and my wife’s decisions in the same way my life was affected by my dad’s decisions.

This is my friend who loves me and knows me.

Who knows well enough to point out where your hurts are dictating your decisions?

**DISCLAIMER: I am not pregnant and my wife is not pregnant in any sense of the word.**