Sunday, March 16, 2008


There's this post I want to write that I can't really write because Evan reads the blog.

It is a fun story. It involves me giving really good advice and offers of assistance and then Evan deciding to do it all on his own in his own way. Later in the story it turns out that Evan valiant attempts to do it his way don't work out so well and he needs our help. This part of the story is painful because we really don't like either of our options. We can do the genuine love and logic thing and refuse to help, or we can do the magnanimous parental thing and rescue him. Doing either well would mean acting with love and confidence, not being resentful or trying to make him feel guilty.

If you are putting the puzzle pieces together you will know that we did do it and with only a little bit of guilt-tripping. And in doing it, we accepting a promotion to being Evan's parents. We also decided that Evan would be thrilled if we took the money I had from selling his never-used microwave and spent it on a thank-you fast-food dinner for the family.

Anyway, there is more to this story I can't quite tell you. After we did the magnanimous thing, Evan's plans still went awry and did so completely without us. And that is a good thing. When kids perceive that the consequences that are happening to them are happening as a result of parental action or inaction, they tend not to learn from them. What they remember is that their mean parents didn't help them or punished them, or some such thing. They don't tend to connect the consequences to the action. The most successful consequences are the ones that happen without us.

Not that those always work, of course, but those are the ones that are most likely to work.

And that is what is happening to Evan right now.

And I have all these emotions. I am very proud of him, because I know he can and will figure this out. I am relieved knowing that there really and truly is nothing that I can do but be sympathetic and supportive. This is not something I can fix. No guilt, no pressure, no debating what I should do. I just need to keep telling him that I know it is stressful and I am proud at how well he is handling it.

And deep inside, and evil little voice is giggling and saying, "If you had just followed my advice in the first place, none of this would have happened."

Of course, I am far too good of a parent to say that to him.

But I am petty enough to publish it on the blog.


  1. Good for you...whatever it was...

  2. I've definitely been in Evan's situation! Whatever it is, he WILL figure it out for himself, and in the end, when everything has worked out, he will feel so good and so strong for having handled it! Good luck!

  3. It is nice to know even a goddess of halflings has feet of clay. Hee, hee, I can't tell you how many times I have laughed under my breath at my kids when life whaps them upside the head without me having to.

  4. I am so very glad you managed to hold yourself back from doing the told you so thing! Almost! You did good at managing this.


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