Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Interesting

A couple weekends ago, my husband and I went to a parenting seminar by John Rosemond. I am a big fan of his because without his book, Making the Terrible Twos Terrific, I might not have made it through age 2-3 with my kids.

My favorite thing about John Rosemond is his no-nonsense, practical and traditional way to raise kids. I'm getting ready to read his new book, Parenting By the Book.

The seminar was good. He is funny and such a straight shooter. He really doesn't sugarcoat much for parents.

One thing he said that I cannot get out of my head was a story of having a conversation with his now elderly mother. He asked her what she talked about with her friends when she was a young mom.

Her response was: politics, books, movies, work, gossip, current events.

Do you notice that she never said her kids?

His point was that his mother was interesting. She was not child-focused. Her children, while very well taken care of and loved, were not the center of her world.

Hmmm. I have to say this thought has intrigued me.

As a matter of fact, I have been doing a little experiment this week to see what I talk about with my friends.

We talk about: politics,books, movies, work, gossip, current events.

However, we also talk about our children. Yes, we do and I would say John Rosemond's mother did too. Honestly, if you are a mom, you are going to eventually get around to talking about your kids - even if it is to complain about how they couldn't get their shoes on and that made you late getting out the door. And more than likely you will brag about something they are doing (like a certain little girl in a dance recital).

I've noticed something else, though. Your friends (even your bestest ones) will only listen to you brag about your kids for so long before their eyes start to glaze over.

When I was a mommy of a baby, I was in a play group with moms and babies the same age. We talked about our kids NON-STOP. There was so much to talk about because it was all new. They were absolutely the center of our worlds because they had to be - they were babies. But sometime shortly after potty training and tantrums there was a shift. We found ourselves wanting to talk about something OTHER than our kids.

Which is exactly what John Rosemond thinks is a natural mother/child occurence. His big point, is that if this has not happened that it is not so good for your family.

Anyway, the part that really stuck with me after all of this is the "My mother was interesting," part.

Because I started to wonder, "Do my kids think I am interesting? Or do they think that my whole world revolves around them?" "What about my husband - does he think I'm interesting?"

"Am I interesting?"

I'm not asking you to answer that. I already know that my talk of garden slugs and dance recitals is breaking news. I am so not trying to solicit compliments here. Really.


What I do want to know is this...

What makes a person interesting?

AND

How do you stay interesting?


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4 comments:

BurntPancakesMom said...

I was there too. He definitley made me think (and appreciate my 'harshness' - for lack of a better term - with my kids [think the punishment should NOT fit the crime]).

To answer your question about intereting people, that, I believe, it total perspective. What do you find interesting? I believe that people who can add experience and knowledge to what YOU find interesting will be people that you find interesting.

On a different note, the thing that stuck out to me was the emotion thing. His mom was raised in an orphanage (most, at that time, were renouned for emotional stagnantion). He's a man (with his 8 crayons of emotion) and I'm a woman (with my 64 emotional crayons). I love my 64 emotions. They don't always serve me well, but I don't think he quite gets people who God has given a lot of emotions. The moodiness of teens, yes they are moody. But like he said, when the moodiness becomes disrespectful, it is only then that the emotions become a problem. And the anger thing? I think three are some people that are just more prone to that who need to figure out how to redirect it and refocus it and not lose control.

There's my 2 cents.

Janel@Dandelion Dayz said...

Oh, now I did not know that about his mom! That really puts a different twist on it, doesn't it?

I do wonder if he discounts emotions too much. Being a highly emotional creature myself, I get where you are coming from.

Anita said...

I got a lot from your previous commenter........thanks.
I've never heard it put that way, but I know I too have the jumbo 62 crayola box, with the sharpener too!
Several years ago my husband and I did a retreat that is called "Marriage Encounter" and it emphasized the importance of keeping our relationship alive and well, because at some point our children will grow up and move away.
I believe the same is true for my well being and being the kind of woman I want to be. I love my children, but they are not my life........they are a huge and wonderful part of who I am, but they do not define me.
Thanks for making me think......and what makes me interesting..........hmmm, just the fact that I keep learning and exploring.

Ali said...

I used to read his column in the newspaper and I only agreed with him half the time. The other half, he was making me feel like a bad parent:)

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