Hello there Mother! After reading your blog about taking some time to chill and enjoy life, I got to thinking. As I sit here in the middle of nowhere Mississippi I am anxiously awaiting my family's arrival. Having you guys come to visit is something I am truly looking forward to. I feel blessed when I explain to people that we all LIKE being together. Now let's be honest we are far from "Leave it to Beaver," thank God. Why we enjoy each other is because we allow each other to be ourselves. There has never been any pressure to be someone I am not, I rest comfortably in the fact that my family loves me for who I am. Therefore, I enjoy being with you all. I have so many memories of us being together, laughing, chilling, enjoying each other's company. Laughter is a pivotal part of the Looney family I suppose. How did we pull it off? Maybe we are just goofy...
We need an old fashion Summertime. My friends are tired and their children are tired. Parents have been functioning as agents not parents and children have been performing not growing up. Parents are in that never ending spin cycle of "have tos". ...I have to keep up with those other parents who are negociating with the soccer coach, challenging those poor grades and demanding the "right' part in the play. The children have been performing since the age of 2 for college admission counselors.
It is time to chill out. To enjoy one another, laugh with one another, listen to one another and actually talk WITH one another. You know, parents listening to their children's dreams and fears. Encouraging them to go for those dreams and face those fears. Listening and just being there. We need to be bored. Bored with one another so we can become creative and think rather than conform. Play rather than perform. A time to tell one another that we love them for who they are and for who they want to become. A time to take a deep breath and know we are doing a better job of parenting than we think we are doing. A time for children to lay on their backs, look at the stars and ponder who they are and what is the purpose of life.
We now have the warm temps. School will soon be out. Make the choice to chill out and enjoy life and laugh. Life gives us time and space, it is up to us to fill it with joy.
A question I am asked so often is, "What is Reality Therapy and what is a Reality Therapist?"
Are you ever going to answer this question? You've had this posted for almost a month now. What is a reality therapist?
Son, Yes I am going to answer this question. Patience has never been your strong point.
Being a Reality Therapist helped me raise you and Elaine. The three pillars of Reality Therapy are Reality, Responsibilitly and Right and Wrong. Three principles you want to teach your children. The goal of parenting is to teach your children to leave you and go out in the real world knowing how the real world works so to make this world a better place. Using Reality Therapy ,which is based on Choice Theory, is the perfect way to teach your children how the real world works and how to take responsiblity for their own lives.
Reality Therapy was developed by Dr. William Glasser. The theory for this approach is Choice Theory which says that all behavior is chosen and all behavior is purposeful. Choice theory explains that, for all practical purposes, we choose everything we do. Behavior is made up of thoughts, feelings, and actions. Our feelings are the lights on our dashboard and tell us something is going on. All feelings are appropriate, all actions are not. For example, when someone pulls out in front of you in traffic you get that involuntary feeling of anger. Immediately you choose what to do. You think and decide what to do. You can honk your horn or say to yourself, "Boy, they are in a bigger hurry than I am and I will not let them ruin my day." We have more control over our thoughts and actions than we do our feelings. You can act your way into feeling better but you can not feel your way into acting better.
That is some food for thought. There will be more about Choice Theory tomorrow.
Butler, do you practice Choice Theory or did I fail at my valiant parenting efforts?
More about Reality Therapy and Choice Theory!
When in graduate school, we were asked to choose a theory that was of interest to us. I chose Reality Therapy because I am from Mississippi and there is no reality in Mississippi. It was my hope that the mystery of reality would become clear to me. That didn't happen but I fell in love with Reality Therapy, Choice Theory and Dr. William Glasser. After graduating from Graduate School, I chose to do an 18 month study under Dr. Glasser. Smart move on my part----it changed my life and as I teach Choice Theory to others many report it has done the same for them.