“I Praise Loudly …”

” … I blame softly.” – Catherine the Great

Catherine the Great.


They don’t really do that anymore, do they? Assign those kind of nicknames to our leaders anymore. Well, our leaders are assigned nicknames, but I’m pretty sure they aren’t anything like, “The Great,” or “The Noble,” or “The Wise.”

I’m pretty sure no one would assign that to me either. Well, at least not anyone in my family. At least not now. Maybe when I’m older, wizened and sage with my advanced years they will put that on my tombstone. That’s not really my goal anyway, to be assigned or be put upon any kind of pedestal, I’d much rather be known as kind and dependable. In my experience (limited, but what I have I’ve learned from), the higher the pedestal, the more pain when you hit the ground. And we all hit the ground at some point. We are all learning and trying to maneuver our way through the chess board of life, trying to figure out what will happen when we make a move in one direction. Preferably, we think these things through before we make the move, but oftentimes we don’t think. We jump. Sometimes we’re lucky and sometimes … we hit the dirt in a face plant.

Lizzie and Bennett and I were having a conversation this morning in the car on the way to Safety Patrol (almost halfway through! only another week and a half!) about bullies and their motivations. I was telling them while it seems contradictory, bullies with all their bravado and seemingly self-confident ways are, in fact, the very opposite of what they present to the world. Bullies have this way of building walls around them that punch out (with words and actions) the people who stand next to them, the very people who intimidate them because those people are the very antithesis of what a bully is and what someone like that really wants to be.

Confident. Quietly assured. Humble, always humble. Kind. And never afraid to ask for help.

How do we create these kind of kids though and not the bullies? I think it always comes down to what kind of person is setting the example. In my case, my husband and myself. Am I humble? I try to be. Do I know everything? Absolutely not. Do I ask questions? Yes. Do I ask for help? Well … that is a work in progress and I am getting better at it. As far as the kids go, I hope I am instilling in them that balance between Help Yourself When You Need It/Ask for Help if You Truly Need It. After all, we don’t want whiny, do things for me, entitled and enabled kids. We want kids who aren’t afraid to jump in and help. Kids who will hold the door, ask what they can do, keep their eye on the ball, and be confident enough to ask for help if they need it so that their success can be measured in their achievement from the time before. (Need, not want, see what I did there?)

I read that opening quote off the spine of a magazine that came the other day and is still sitting in my TBR pile. It occurred to me that to make children that will one day have the suffix of … the Great, … the Wise, … the Noble, we as parents have to be Great, Wise and Noble ourselves and accept the fact that raising good kids is our greatest reward. Not how many cupcakes we bake or presents we buy or how much power we wield in PTSA.



About krob3

Wife, mom, swim taxi, singer, writer. This is what I do.
This entry was posted in caregiving, Children, Families, Parenting and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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