No matter what religion, ethnicity or belief system a parent bases their child rearing methods out of there is a common foundation behind them which assumes an action/reaction relationship between adults and children. It's how we as humans understand interpersonal relationships. It's something that we hold deep in our core and a a touch point for understanding and ordering our world.
Every book I have ever read on parenting has a base assumption that we as adults can affect and impact our children's behaviors and decisions by doing certain things. As good parents we buy books and internalize parenting methods because this idea appeals to us. If over time we find that the methods we are using are not having the 'desired' results we look for another book, ask another friend or consult another professional. It's not a bad way to deal with parenting and many families end up creating a hybrid that works for them until their kids outgrow the need to be parented.
But there are some kids who don't fit into the general mold. Ones for whom there is no book or method or 'right' answer on how to manage a given situation because there is no action/reaction connection in their behavior. Or at least not one that a parent wants to face.
Many of these kids have experienced pre or post birth trauma and have systems which react differently that we expect. Consider this..... Who would expect a child who is offered their favorite dinner to rage and throw the plate? Or one who is treasured and loved to believe that they are hated and despised? How about never leaning from consequences and making no cause/effect connection between their behaviors and discipline or praise?
It happens to many families. Some adoptive and others not. It can be genetic, organic or environmental. For many it's a hidden reality of parenting which very few people are speaking about and even fewer are saying is 'OK.'
It's the silence that comes when the question
"What can I do about this....(lying, stealing, destroying, raging,anger, etc..)" has no answer.
For many of us it's a free fall moment when we accept that
"Nothing can be done."
No matter how hard.
No matter how consistently
No matter how correctly
No matter what method
We might not be able to change what our child does.
They might not be able to change what they do.
It's a moment where our faith comes into play.
Because it's either a deep and hopeless pit
or total freedom..................
For me it's freedom.
because I know I cant 'do' anything
I realize that what I thought was my 'good parenting' before
was simply 'easy' parenting
sort of like paint-by numbers vs a blank canvas.
It makes me laugh now to read the books
written by good people who honestly believe
their methods will work for anyone
and that the reason they wont in some situations
is simply the parents fault.
If we would systematically fill in the canvas
follow the plan
say the right things
do the right things
we would get a picture that looks
exactly like the family next door.
Except its not the same is it?
It's a cheap imitation of someone else's work.
Without freedom and flexibility.
Without creativity and joy.
It's a copy.
But some of us are blessed with kids
who don't come with instruction books
or step-by-step instructions.
that make us wonder what medium we are even working in
one day clay
and a third the blistering forge of glass blowing.
Before I felt the freedom
I was afraid.
I wanted answers
Concrete cause and effect policies
that would keep our life smooth
the outcome predictable.
Before I let go I was afraid
to trust my God
with my children.
I was afraid to trust my life
and my reputation
and my comfort
to my God.
Because I didn't realize
that I am truly not able to
anyone do anything- not really
I just thought I should be able to
And it was a horrible weight
which wasn't mine.
Because I am not God
but for some reason I thought I was.