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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Soapbox: Power

Feeling like you have no power is an easy trap.  Sometimes it seems that every plan I make is hijacked by some child crisis, outside obligation, etc. etc. On the other hand, it is all a crock.  I have a ton of power.  I am a single parent so I am the only adult in the house.  I am the only wage earner, so I know exactly what comes in, and exactly what goes out.  I am the one who signs the checks, punches the code for the debit card, etc.

I may not always be able to choose the circumstances that surround me, but as the saying goes, I can control my reaction to those circumstances.  If I want to raise children who do not label themselves as victims, I have to model that for them. I need to model having power.

What about attitudes?  How can I complain [who, me?] about the 'values of today's young people' without re-examining my own power over the attitudes of my children? How can I say "Why can't I lose weight?" in front of them if I just baked brownies for dessert?  How do I ask "Does this make me look fat?" if I don't want them to measure beauty by shape? How upset can I get about a broken dish if I want them to place a low priority on things? And what do I teach when I drive past the homeless without looking? If I pass by the salvation army kettle? or the child's lemonade stand? If I postpone tucking in a child to finish a TV program? If I bury myself in a book rather than play another game of Candyland?

I  DO  have influence.

I  DO have power.

We all do.

Like the superheroes of my childhood...

the challenge is to look out for the kryptonite

and use my powers for good !


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