Monday, January 31, 2011

Lines

The teal wax oozes beyond the black ink that's stamped in its confining shape. I know I'm supposed to teach her to be mindful of those boundaries, but I can't.

I'm a rule-follower. It took a long time for the creativity in me to be unleashed because it was stifled by directives to stay in the lines. Of course I want her to be orderly and mindful and courteous, but I also want her to question authority and go where her heart and mind lead her, splashing paint and jumping in puddles and straying from the path to find her own way. It's a fine line to walk in parenting.

I am the oldest, a people-pleaser. I see so much of myself in her. She's still young enough that she's not yet afraid to ask the hard questions or do her own thing, like wear mismatched clothes. She's not afraid of what her peers think, and I make a concerted effort not to impose restrictions on her creativity. I want to preserve that independent spirit while helping her conform to the values we uphold - societal norms for safety as well as morals that have gone by the mainstream's wayside.

She'll learn soon enough that she's expected to color within the lines. For now, I'm just going to keep encouraging her to create how she sees fit.

24 comments:

Liz said...

It really is such a challenge because you want them to be them, but you need to guide along the way. I feel like my biggest challenge in that regard will be with Kate.

gopopgo said...

What a great post! It's funny b/c now, we're encouraged at work to think outside of the box, but we need to stay within the lines for just about everything else.

It's definitely a challenge with kids too. I think with creative things, that's cool. But for things like pooping/peeing in the toilet, she better stay within the lines there. Free thinker? Good. Free pooper? Bad.

Erin said...

I'm a first-born and a people pleaser, too. I catch myself praising my 5-year-old twins when they color in the lines. Shame on me. I need to let them LIVE more....

really enjoyed this post!

Not Just Another Jennifer said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. Pop, good point. That's a clear line that needs to be followed there.

Poppy said...

My oldest has been such a people pleaser and I've always tried to encourage her to be a little more of a free thinker ... now, as she is approaching her teenage years she is finally starting to. I'm happy she is starting to make independent decisions, but then again I'm not ready for her to grow up!

Jessica said...

I love the lesson in this post, I have always been an in-the-lines person but hope to not inflict that on my children too much. I too want them to push their boundaries a bit... but not with me of course!

Nichole said...

I am a rule follower too.
I like predictability and order.
But, I do encourage creativity in my children as much as I possibly can. Sometimes it's all I can do to not step in, but I'm really, really working on it. :)
Lovely post.

Not Just Another Jennifer said...

Thank you all! I never really thought about it before I had kids. I worried about making sure I taught them manners and such, but never really thought about it in this way. Being a mom is never dull!

Jules said...

I like rules. But I hate that I like rules. Grrrr.

Sherri said...

Oh, I am such a rule-follower! I like order and stability in my life, and that's NOT really how life is handed to any of us!

So I try, really try to encourage my kids to be different than I am.

But my oldest? I think I handed him the gene.

Melissa (Confessions of a Dr. Mom) said...

Oh, this is so true. It really is a fine line to walk. Sounds like you are doing a wonderful job at supporting and encouraging her independence and creativity. This is a lovely post. So glad to have found you through Studio 30 plus :)

Not Just Another Jennifer said...

Thanks! I'm excited to check out everyone else over at Studio 30 Plus! Heading your way now....

Anonymous said...

http://www.purchaselevitranorx.com/#6midwestmomments.blogspot.com - buy viagra [url=http://www.purchaselevitranorx.com/#4midwestmomments.blogspot.com]levitra online[/url] levitra
levitra online

Anonymous said...

[p]The particular are designed to suit your legitimate proportions and never [url=http://www.genuineuggbootsonlinesale.co.uk]ugg boots online outlet[/url] your measurement greater, such as memorable Ugg boots . If you'd like to be able to shield your lovely legs inside the ice cold winter season, you should purchase a couple of bailey button [url=http://www.genuineuggbootsonlinesale.co.uk]ugg boots online uk[/url] uggs internet promotion dressed in at once . You can be shabby to the lambskin classic ugg boots [url=http://www.genuineuggaustraliasale.co.uk]genuine ugg sale[/url] that are gettin . Eventually both guys and women's ugg boots became amongst Australia's favourite footwear at the side of beach thongs [url=http://www.australiauggsboot.co.uk]australia ugg boot uk online
[/url] in addition to a surfboard . However, if you are looking for the real thing then it can be incredibly frustrating if you part with your money [url=http://www.genuineuggcardyboots.co.uk]genuine ugg boots sale[/url] only to receive a fake copy of the product . GolabClick this XML Tattoo Preceding to obtain Articles or blog posts By using RSS OR ATOM,best boots for snow! Will not content information on the webpage if you stick to your words connected with services . To spice up your winter look, UGG handbags [url=http://www.jimmychoouggsale.co.uk]uggs jimmy choo[/url] are designed to match your boots . uggs bailey button Roxy Short available for sale on the web merchandise [url=http://www.genuineuggbootsonlinesale.co.uk]ugg boots online[/url] is heated merchandising for internet . So what makes UGGs so special?The sheepskin interior [url=http://www.realuggbootsale.co.uk]real ugg boots[/url] is hygienicThe sheepskin interior soaks up moisture helping to keep the feet dry, meaning no need for extra socks.[/p]



[url=http://robotikstudenter.com/forum1/2-svammel/7112-pros-cons-of-electronic-cigarettes-electronic-cigarette-virginia-beach?limit=6&start=576%2BResult:%2Bchosen%2Bnickname%2B%22Roblcg13%22;%2Bsuccess%2B%28fro]UGG boots shop provide the real Commodity Export online with high-quality 9b[/url]
[url=http://www.egospodarka.net/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=posting&mode=reply&t=1822%3Cbr]UGG boots store online provide the genuine Commodity sale online with high-quality 9q[/url]
[url=http://www.portomeloxo.com/foro/posting.php?mode=newtopic&f=16]UGG boots store online provide the real Commodity online with high-quality 8w[/url]
[url=http://autofemme.com.br/forum/posting.php?mode=quote&f=3&p=294806]UGG boots shop provide the genuine Commodity online with high-quality 5a[/url]
[url=http://www.affiliate-marketing-money.net/real-estate/if-i-was-home-id-rockrt-feleciagenet-cant-wait-til-wabbit-comes-to-town-were-bouta-be-out-here-mobbing-too-hard/?utm_campaign=twitter-wp&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitter]UGG boots shop provide the real Commodity online with good quality 6j[/url]

Anonymous said...

woodworking projects , http://woodworkingplans1.com/#Alurannelilia woodworking plans

Anonymous said...

woodworking projects , http://woodworkingplans1.com/#Alurannelilia woodworking projects

Anonymous said...

Hi, provigil price - provigil online http://www.onlinepharmdiscount.com/provigil/, [url=http://www.onlinepharmdiscount.com/provigil/]buy provigil [/url]

Anonymous said...

Hi, venlafaxine online pharmacy - buy venlafaxine online no prescription http://www.gooddigitalcameras.net/, [url=http://www.gooddigitalcameras.net/]buy venlafaxine without prescription [/url]

Anonymous said...

Li, fluoxetine cost - prozac online pharmacy http://www.prozacorder365.net/, [url=http://www.prozacorder365.net/]order fluoxetine [/url]

Anonymous said...

4, Lunesta Sale - generic lunesta http://www.lunestasleepaid.net/, [url=http://www.lunestasleepaid.net/] Generic Lunesta [/url]

Anonymous said...

2, [url=http://www.handbagsmgmg.com/]Modalert Online[/url] - Buy Modafinil - provigil online http://www.handbagsmgmg.com/ .

Anonymous said...

5, [url=http://www.costofeffexor.net/]Buy Effexor[/url] - Order Effexor Online - venlafaxine cost http://www.costofeffexor.net/ .

Anonymous said...

5, [url=http://www.cheapzoloftrx.net/] Zoloft For Sale[/url] - Sertraline Price - order zoloft online no prescription http://www.cheapzoloftrx.net/ .

Anonymous said...

12, [url=http://gtboy.com/]Doxycycline Malaria[/url] - Discount Doxycycline - buy doxycycline 100mg http://gtboy.com/ .

Real Time Analytics