Tag Archive | mothering

Blog Post #4 in a Series: Dr. Kevin Leman Interview

78616973This excerpt is from the article

“The Child Is Father of the Man”: Dr. Kevin Leman on Childhood Memories

by Alicea Jones from an interview with Christian psychologist, author and humorist, Dr. Kevin Leman on how our pasts affect how we parent.

Q – You’ve talked about parents who overcompensate in their parenting because they feel bad about their own upbringing. What impact does overcompensation have on parenting?

 A – Number one, guilt is the propellant for most of the lousy decisions you’ll make in life. There are certainly more guilt gatherers who are females than males. Men generally don’t run on guilt. Lots of women do. Because they feel bad about the circumstances they bring to their family with their children, they overcompensate. “I’m just going to love Little Buford, love him, love him, love him.” Which ends up creating a little monster because she doesn’t have the guidelines she needs to have. She doesn’t have the firmness she needs to have. So that combination of guilt with no model to really follow in her family—she survived and she’s coping, and now she’s got kids and she doesn’t know what to do.

Okay, so how many of us haven’t made parenting decisions because we felt guilty? I certainly have, more than once. If I were starting all over again, I would ask myself before deciding to buy that new toy or whatever article of appeasement: “What is my purpose for doing this and what message am I sending to my child?” If my answer is that I feel guilty, then I’d try to give myself some time to think about what I was doing before acting. At least that’s what I hope I’d do. How about you?

Photo: Thinkstock

Post #1 Breaking the Chains of Your Past

78815965I had the pleasure of interviewing Christian psychologist, author and humorist, Dr. Kevin Leman.  Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting his insightful thoughts about how our past affects how we view life and how we mother. Don’t miss his answers to some pressing questions.

Excerpt from article by Alicea Jones

All the eight-year-old boy had to do was run out on the basketball court and perform the five-second Williamsville Billies’ cheer: “Basket, basket! Score, score, score! Williamsville Central, we want more!” Somehow, young Kevin Leman, the eight-year-old mascot, wearing his sweatshirt that displayed a billy goat, forgot his lines. At first he froze, mortified. Then a surprising thing happened: When everyone started laughing, Kevin realized that he loved the attention and the ability to make people laugh. It’s that childhood memory, the heady thrill of willing people to laugh, that helps define Dr. Kevin Leman today.

Here’s what Dr. Leman had to say about his own family background:

Q – Some of your childhood memories include growing up in a home with an alcoholic father. How did that situation affect you?

A – When you don’t have a relationship you should have had with the dad, you pay for it in the long run. It’s sort of like making a cake and leaving one main ingredient out. Now what happens to the cake? It falls flat. So you end up with ways of coping with that missing piece. So you become a survivor; you’re in survivor mode. You go “I’ll show ’em.” That happens to a lot of people.

I’ve had a similar experience growing up in a home with a drug addicted dad and all the resulting fallout. And I can say that I’ve spent a large part of my life trying to prove that I am not defined by my childhood. But the older I get, the more I realize that it’s not about proving anything to anyone. It’s about knowing my purpose in life and working toward fulfilling it. How about you? How does your upbringing affect your life views, whether you are a mother or not? Has your view changed over time?

Photo: Thinkstock

 

What’s Your Handle?

Photo courtesy Microsoft Images

 

Eric Blair, who wrote under the pen name, George Orwell, tells the story of his childhood in an English boarding school. In his short story, Such, Such Were the Joys, he recounts the cruelty he endured at the hand of his Head Master at Crossgates, a preparatory school. When he arrived at Crossgates—“an expensive and snobbish school”— at eight years old, he began wetting the bed as children sometimes do when they experience trauma or significant change. Considered an intentional and rebellious act in the early 1900s, bedwetting sometimes resulted in physical punishment. Hence, his Head Master would beat him with a riding crop. On one occasion, the bone handle of the crop broke off during the beating and even for this, the Head Master blamed the young boy. And the young boy believed the lie.

“. . . .I accepted the broken riding crop as my own crime. I can still recall my feeling as I saw the handle lying on the carpet—the feeling of having done an ill-bred and clumsy thing, and ruined an expensive object. I had broken it: so Sim told me, and so I believed. This acceptance of guilt lay unnoticed in my memory for twenty or thirty years.”

My beloved sister: What guilt are you carrying from the past? Are there things you still hold on to that were not your fault? This question is important because guilt can be a vile and clutching monster that latches onto to the human soul, holding us from being the best that we can be, including mothering in freedom.

Whether you feel guilt for something that wasn’t (or was) your fault, take it to God in prayer. Go confidently with full expectation of God’s permanent forgiveness. Go boldly, knowing that He has already ripped the putrid monster of guilt from your back. And if you begin to feel eerie remembrances of guilt’s disgusting presence, remember that these are feelings, not reality.

Scripture: He (Satan) was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44

Scripture: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

Scripture: The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29

Power In A Jar

Have you ever been in that place–wanting to help your children but not knowing how? I’ve definitely been there more than a few times. It’s a hard thing watching your child struggle and feeling powerless to help.

I was reading 2 Corinthians 4:7 this morning and  it reminded me that  in my  limited abilities, I can do nothing. But with God’s power, I (and my children) can do all things.

The answer is the same for all followers of Christ. Through our dependence upon His power we are victorious.

2 Corinthians 4:7
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

Photo courtesy Wikimedia.org http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pottery_Ghana.jpg#file

Creative Commons

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons

Ready To Hold Your Hand

I stood with my mother and father on a bustling sidewalk lined with vendors selling baskets of apples and oranges. The sea of red and orange distracted me and I let go of my father’s hand to feel the fruit mounded up in the baskets. I turned back to grasp my father’s hand but it wasn’t there. I looked up as far as my little neck would allow but all I saw was strangers. I ran yelling down the street. “Daddy. Daddy.” My heart pumped wildly and I could feel the heat of panic rising up under my coat. I was alone. I was lost. Abandoned.
Unbeknownst to me, my father had been there right beside me at the apple stand. He couldn’t figure out why I suddenly bolted and started running down the street. Finally, he caught up with me. “Why did you run away?” he said.
“I lost you, I couldn’t find you,” I cried.
“But I was there all the time, right next to you, even when you were running, I was running after you.”

This happens to mom sometimes. We’re walking down the road of parenting holding on to the Lord’s hand. Then someone comes out with a new parenting book and we’re all over it. After all, we want to be the best mothers we can be so surely the more information the better. Right?

Bookstores have complete sections dedicated to parenting books: some good, some not very useful. Yet God’s word is a consistent and ultimate guide for parenting. It is the foundation—the building block. No doubt, we will glean parenting wisdom from others. But when we turn away from God’s parenting truths and then grow weary chasing after the latest trends, God is right there with us, ready to grab our hand again, gently guiding us back to the the road of parenting. All we need do is ask.
Ezekiel 34:16
I will search for the lost and bring back the strays…