Linda G. Hill

Life in progress

JusJoJan 27 – How Parenting is Like the Weather

21 Comments

Long ago I read a story–it’s probably a famous one, but I’ll relate it here in brief–about how the sun and the wind entered into a competition to make a man take off his coat. The wind, of course, tried to blow it off, but the harder the wind blew, the tighter the man held his coat around him. The wind eventually gave up and then the sun came out. The man, becoming hot, took off his coat. The moral of the story is that sometimes coaxing is better than trying to force someone to do something.

The story came to mind today, as it often does on a bitterly windy day, when I try to bury myself in my scarf. For some reason the thought led to parenting.

My motto has long been, “Pick your battles.” If it’s not that important, meaning no one is going to get seriously injured or be more than ten minutes late for something, I tend to either let the issue go or do my best to be persuasive rather than forceful. The practice has improved my powers of persuasion to the point that I’m getting pretty good at it. Failing that, I’ve learned to be patient. To take a deep breath and remind myself that it’s not the end of the world if Alex completely empties a drawer of perfectly folded clothes to do it again himself, or insists on cleaning his own feeding tube when I know damned well he’s going to ask for the help he at first refuses because it can’t reach where it has to hang.

But I’m only human. There are times when I feel I must stuff him in the car against his will, or restrain him to keep him from falling out his second storey bedroom window. Part of these necessities come down to the fact that I’m not completely fluent in sign language – part of it comes from his own behavioural issues and the fact that he’s mentally well below his age level but physically entering puberty. This puts him in the range of adolescence mixed with the terrible twos.

Still. It’s better to be sunny than windy.

JJJ 2015

Just Jot It January is nearly over – link your post today and get your participant’s badge at the end of the month! https://lindaghill.com/2015/01/01/just-jot-it-january-pingback-post-and-rules/

Author: LindaGHill

There's a writer in here, clawing her way out.

21 thoughts on “JusJoJan 27 – How Parenting is Like the Weather

  1. This made me think of helping my nephew with his homework last night. He has learned a different way to change fractions back into percentages and it’s very different from they way I learned. In fact, I have no idea how he does it even though he tried to explain it to me. In the end, his way came up with the same answer as my way every single time. So in the end, I just reminded him of one or two things that he’d misplaced in his mind about whole numbers and that was all.

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  2. Linda, great way to frame your thinking when you must often be at wit’s end, caught between love and despair. May sunshine give you grace to withstand the gales.

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  3. It is so true! It’s a fine line we walk. Bless you.

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  4. My sister ( who has a nineteen year old nonverval autistic daughter) is pretty closed off when it comes to expressing herself. Your outlook is A- MAZING!

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  5. This is the kind of lesson that can only be shared by someone in your situation. Thank you for taking the time to share it with us. Stay sunny.

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    • I dunno, Dan… everyone has their challenges, whether it’s feeding tubes or just getting them to eat. At least I don’t have that problem – Alex is eating right now in bed, asleep. 😛 It’s all relative. 🙂
      “Stay sunny.” I like that. 😀 Thanks!

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  6. You are an amazing mom, Linda!! I admire you and have no doubt that your blogs helps many writers, bloggers and parents as well. What a friggin coincidence that I saw show last night and they talked about Aesop’s fable about the wind and sun. How totally odd. Stay warm…brrrr, dreading my walk home after my shift tonight:(

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  7. Linda, I can’t even begin to imagine what you go through as a parent, but I am pretty sure you are a fantastic mother. ❤

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  8. Whenever it’s windy, I smirk, and think to myself, “Mother Nature is blowing me.” But that’s just me. My brother and sister-in-law do the same for their parenting, though they’re literally going through the terrible two phase. I’m sure you’re doing great 🙂

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