The Civilizing Process...


I have been thinking about this post idea ever since my daughter, Megan, graduated from her Master's Program in July.  During her graduation week, one of the events involved professors talking about the difference each student had made, and what they would take away from their experience with that individual.   The commentary shared about Megan, was that her work with junior high kids involved a lot of time teaching them how to be civilized.  I liked that thought!

The civilizing process can be daunting!  How as parents, do we help kids become people you would like to meet, and know, and be friends with?  People who keep evolving and growing and becoming the type of person they want to be?  Someone that is likable and able.

I think it must start right from the earliest elements of parenting.  We teach our kids to trust by being there for them when they cry and try to meet their needs.  We teach our kids to love by loving them in a way that is unconditional and constant.  We teach our kids to be people by showing them and teaching them rules of decorum ( this can be hard, even on the best parents....when our kids were teenagers they actually got into a fight and threw a shoe across a restaurant...Yikes....we had to keep working on that :).  We teach our kids how to care for others by caring for people we love well.  We teach our kids how to take risks and grow by demonstrating our own ability to do that.  We teach our kids....well, bottom line, our kids learn what they live.  Each day, we their parents are their best teachers, no matter how old our children are.

I just had a great conversation with one of my kids.  We shared what each of us felt, and talked about what we needed, in a way that I believe was respectful and honest.  Hmmm... we must have practiced that before!

Sometimes I think it is hard to do the right thing and be the parent, even when your kids are adults, but we must.  We signed onto that agreement the minute our kids were born!  It can be the best and hardest part of life, trying to be a good parent, trying to demonstrate how to evolve, and how to be a person.  A person who is civilized enough to know they do not know everything and keep working on it.  That is the whole point.

I know I am far from perfect, but damn if I am not going to keep trying!

OK...I guess not perfection, cause that would be CRAZY talk....but how about GREAT?

That is pretty civilized.

Until next time,