Bird Dream

I get worried that the kids aren't practicing their instruments regularly enough, and then I get worried that they are eating too much salt.  The worry translates into criticism, which I swore off last summer. No surprise, the kids react with disdain and anger.  

Of course there are much better ways to go about making people do what you want them to do.  Star charts, for example, are always a good suggestion, but their implementation is beyond me.

So are following through on firm schedules and hard set rules.

I don't believe I've always been this way.

I've changed.

My husband and certain members of his family have thrown into doubt the worthiness of any authority figure.

Some hardworking friends often quote a study that reports, given a safe environment with basic needs being met, kids turn out to be who they are going to be regardless of what their parents do or don't do. The same friends are very strict about their kids doing their homework because they blame their lackadaisical childhood home environments on their lazy tendencies and don't want their kids to fall to the same fate.

Is it better to let the kids be free, or to put pressure on them to succeed?  Is it best to be consistent or willing to bend?  Is there such a thing as the right way, or only the way that is?

I drew this bird a long time ago, on the back of a paper I found in the scrap pile.  I scanned it and have opened it many times, writing a few lines and then erasing them.  


  1. Oh gosh... How I can go on and on about this. I could talk about it in regards to my own children, and I can also say that I'm writing a novel about how two people turned out the way they are. This stuff is endlessly fascinating to me. I think people's DNA contains certain capacities for intelligence and talents and stuff, but it's the nurturing that dictates what is done with said talents and capacity for intelligence...

    1. Thank you for putting it so eloquently, Yve. I totally agree. But then there are the cases of so many wonderful caring people who had really terrible childhoods and no nurturing at all. Definitely check out Lynda Barry's What It Is. She is my hero. And she lives not too far from here, so I get to see her at the library sometimes, giving talks about creativity. She is incredibly funny and amazing. Then you got to read Cruddy. It's one of my favorite novels. She took all her childhood horrors and spun them into a lifetime of electrifying art.