- Created on Monday, 18 March 2013 10:42
- Written by Pat Pughe-Parry
- Hits: 218
"BECAUSE I SAID SO!"
Any parent who can honestly say that they have never used those words is either a liar or on the fast track to Sainthood.
Nature is cruel. The "why" phase starts when Moms and Dads are at their most vulnerable. This is inevitably when we are exhausted as our little darlings have not yet learned that 8 hours sleep a night is desirable; our precious possessions are being systematically destroyed as we lose the race to childproof our homes; Moms if they are fortunate enough to stay at home are grieving the loss of careers and freedom and Dads are wondering how the heck they are going to earn enough to feed an extra mouth on one salary instead of two.
For most Moms, staying home is not an option so there is the added burden of trying to be wife, mother, and domestic worker and crust earner too.
The first couple of "Why" questions rapidly become a game for the toddler who revels in the reactions from Mom and Dad. Manipulation is one of the first achievements of many children.
Fast forward to primary school.
A teacher now has 30+ children in her class. There is no time to answer all of the "why" questions. Inevitably those children who persist are labelled, "nuisances, disruptive, smart alecks or worse" Sit still and listen becomes the teacher's mantra. It is not the teacher's fault. S/he has no choice. The curriculum is there as are the tests.
A few years later those youngsters who have not learned not to ask the "Why" question start haranguing their parents. "Why can't I date, why can't I watch this movie, play this video game, go to this event?"
"BECAUSE I SAID SO! Do you not remember what I told you when you were 3 years old? Do as I say, do not give me backchat or question my decisions. I am the adult and I know best. Finish and KLAAR!"
OK perhaps there are a growing number of enlightened parents and teachers out there who do make the effort to engage more appropriately with their children but there are many who don't.
Parenting is tough and we frequently parent our children the way we were parented.
This article came about following a brainstorming session we had at our Small Business/NPO Mentoring group. Dave Pughe-Parry took us through a process to help us understand why we were in business and why customers/donors would support us.
The first question asked was: "WHY DOES YOUR COMPANY EXIST?" After much discussion the group realised we all needed to do some serious homework as to why customers would buy from us or why donors would be motivated to invest in our businesses.
So many of us adults - whether ADHD is present or not - impulsively follow our passions and dreams without even asking these hard questions, never mind answering them.
In the same way, we follow a particular religion or culture because it is all we know, we enter a career because our mothers or fathers were doctors, plumbers, lawyers, bookkeepers, teachers etc. We get married because our friends are getting married and it is the "right time".
We have never learned to challenge our ingrained beliefs that we have learned as children.
My challenge to you this week is to start asking yourself these hard questions about your life today.
• Why am I doing this job?
• Why am I running this business?
• Why am I studying this course?
• Why am I in a relationship that is toxic? Family and/or friends.
• Why do I hold these political or religious beliefs?
• Why am I having money problems?
• Why am I battling to discipline my children?
• Why do I have no time for myself?
• Why am I so angry?
• Why am I harbouring these grudges?
There is only one proviso. You may not under any circumstances allude to the past. This includes yesterday. The past doesn't exist except in the way you remember it, which is no doubt tainted with filters you have put in place.
From today you can change the "whys" into "how" you are going to change your future. Of course there are some things we can't change but we can change how we deal with them.
Even better than doing it on your own. Make it a family affair and encourage your children to think about and answer the questions relevant to their lives. Re-ignite the enquiring minds of their toddler years.
This process was one of the key modules I went through in the LADD Coaching Programme. I had never learned to question my actions and beliefs and the pattern my life had taken reflected this weakness.
Have a happy week and I look forward to your feedback.