I confess, our second week which was supposed to be about buttons and activating events was to some extent marred by (surprise!) an extremely hectic schedule for the big people in the family, and there was precious little time for much reflection. Add to that Lucas’s 11th birthday celebration, and things just didn’t quite go as I would have liked. Having said that, we’re sufficiently committed to the POT process — not to mention encouraged by what we saw during DNSN week — that there was stuff to learn this week.
First off, it is remarkable how much of the “revolutionary” independence from week one has stuck with the kids. They’re still largely getting up and ready on their own in the AM, and even though we made it quite clear at family meeting last Sunday that the DNSN element was over, they have taken ownership of their lives to an extent that I would not have expected until much later in the process after much more trial, error, and fine tuning.
Buttons. Let me make two quick observations first. One, this was helpful to read. We’re not unique — others have been where we are and dealt with it, others are where we are right now and dealing with it, creatively, inspiringly. Secondly: everyone has buttons. This week is about the buttons we as parents let get in the way of living in harmony with our kids and allowing them to be who they are and do what they can as individuals and members of our family. But it has reminded me to be considerate of their buttons, too. The things we do that sets them off. The things that teenagers roll their eyes at: “oh, Dad, there you go again with your…”
This week also gave me pause to appreciate how much our kids are capable of doing, all the battles we don’t need to fight, all the things they do that “meet our approval” and does not push buttons. We tend to forget about that and focus on the flaws and the shortcomings and the perceived failures, but huge credit needs to be given to our smart and supremely capable kids for all the things they are able to do.