Thursday, July 24, 2008

Spiritual Parenting

I think I need to refresh my toolbox of parenting skills, as my 12 year old daughter and I are in some sort of transitional phase. She's not quite a teen, but she's on the verge. She's got my number too. I admit, that I have a hard time disciplining her. I usually tolerate a lot from her and then loose my cool and lose my mother of the year award by yelling and shaming...not something I'm proud of. And guess what, it doesn't work.

She's at the age where reasoning works with her in the sense that she understands the reasoning. However, that doesn't mean she agrees with my superior reasoning skills or listens to reason.

Her bedroom has been an ongoing source of much frustration between us for a couple of years now. She is away for a week now and before she left I (once again) "cleaned her room" by confiscating a garbage bag full of stuff that I had been begging her to clean up for months. Months.

And she's supposed to do her own laundry. She knows how to do it. But it piles up and up and up. And then when she travels, I sneak in there and do it while she's gone. I feel great pleasure in this but is it love, or enabling?

I usually laugh about this - it's some sort of teen ritual or something; this argument about dirty rooms. But she's so great in every other way- she cooks, cleans, helps with her siblings, does her chores without complaint. Except for the ROOM. Why can't I let this go? There has to be a spiritual lesson in this.

Let go and let god? Except she doesn't believe in God and neither do I, so God is unlikely to show up to clean or help her to put her organizational skills into practice.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Serenity is something I'm constantly seeking. I even have the Japanese symbol for it tattooed on my body as a constant reminder to slow down, listen, seek...but I am not being very wise about this.

Maybe I should make it my daily meditation. I'll take all the stuff I confiscated, make a labyrinth out of it and do a daily meditative walk through it.

In the last 5 years, I've grown so much in patience and in my ability to let things go. Why not this?

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