Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Being a Good Influence...

A few days ago I had an introspective moment. Why do I feel the need to do things by myself? Better still, why do I try to avoid relying on others?
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not as if I don’t ask for help when I need it. I do but only to a select few. I know I’m not going to cover the multi-layered quandary in just one post but hear me out.
I’m the type of person that becomes passionate to the point of obsession regarding a task. Once a task becomes engrained in my head, I need to do it and I mostly do it by myself. It’s not that I don’t trust folks or believe I can do it better than anyone else. It’s that I need to experience all facets at least once. Afterwards, I’ll more than happily dole out to dos, again to a select few.
For me, part of the challenge and sense of accomplishment from a task is to say and do it. That way, in the future I have a reference point.
In short, my overall experience is based on my actual hands on and emotional experience working on the task.
This lead me to another question, what do others who do not feel the need to do ‘everything’ feel after they accomplish their task? I suppose, better still, “Why is my sense of accomplishment or task worth based on my ability to understand and experience said task?”
I mean, I’ll never know what another person feels nor will it matter. I am what I am. So why do I need to do everything?
I suppose if you do the standard, “Go back to your childhood” train of thought, I can cite numerous events that led me to strive to be self-reliant but I don’t think I’d list them because it’s not a blame game. What we are is what we are for better or worse.
At this point, it rolled over into my parenting. Will my child lean towards interdependence or independence? I hope she is a bit of both. I can’t change her disposition but I can focus on being a positive influence on her.
Which lead me to remind myself of things I’ve told myself b.c. (before child) that I hope I do follow through on.
Here is a short list of……
Things I told my pre-mom self I’d try to do: Oh, and please don’t try to figure out my childhood based on these items. You’ll get it wrong. My parents love me very much and I was blessed with wonderful grandparents that influenced my childhood.
1. I will tell my child I love him/her every day.
2. I will tell my child I am proud of their accomplishments but not to the point of being condescending or frivolous. Don’t just say, ‘Good job!’ Tell him/her why you are proud of them.
3. I will read to my child every day (even if it’s a magazine article).
4. I will not tell my child how much I’ve sacrificed for her.
5. I will be an active listener to my child. In a week’s time, I won’t care that the dishes weren’t done. I will care that I got to spend time learning about my child.
6. Whatever I do with my child, I will do with focus. Don’t be half-assed!
7. I will not prohibit my child from doing something that he/she is interested in merely because 1) I’m scared, 2) it is foreign to me or 3) I have no interest in it.
8. I will try not to fight with my spouse in front of my child. If/When I do, I will fight fair.
9. I will cultivate my relationship with my spouse as our relationship is a foundation to my child’s future relationships. I will not talk about relationship insecurities and inequalities to my child. My child is not my friend!
10. I will be honest with my child.
11. I will let my child know it’s ok not to know something. No one but God has all the answers. What is important is that we try to learn or understand.
12. Everyone errs. It’s human. We learn from our mistakes and we strive to avoid making them again.
13. I will say prayers and thanks every day with my child.
14. I will smile at my child at least once a day.