The Daily Groove

DARE To Be Real!

Older kids often dare each other to do or say something funny, risky, taboo, or outrageous.

These dare games give them opportunities to practice being bigger than the arbitrary rules, limits, and norms of society. And while the most daring kids may get into trouble with society, they also develop the extraordinary courage needed to uphold society's highest ideals.

Today, pretend you're a kid playing a dare game with yourself. Notice when you're on the edge of your comfort zone and dare yourself to step beyond it. For example...

  • If your child "misbehaves" in public: "I DARE ME to keep my heart open and respond creatively, even though everyone is probably thinking I should punish my child."
  • If your friend is parenting in a way that you believe s/he'll eventually regret: "I DARE ME to tell my friend what I see."

Have fun with this! Start small and build up to bigger dares.

You may find that being courageous makes you feel as big as you actually are. :)

Comments (closed)

about telling friends what you see

Scott, this is not a dare - it is a question. All of my good friends know how I feel about traditional parenting methods and how damaging I feel they are and how I choose to try to learn and practice a different path. I also gently share things I learn with them and resources I like.

Still, my friends choose to spank, threaten, punish, and shame in many cases. 2 of my very good friends have admitted their parenting is harsher than it could be on occasion, and I believe these two people have also taken some good hard looks at their practices *because* of my beliefs and my steadfastness. However, these parents still believe that overall, their way is the necessary and proper way to turn out 'proper' adults.

So, my dilemna is, when I see these friends spanking, forcing sorrys, slapping, and putting noses on refrigerators :( do I really have any right to tell them again of my feelings? What would you do? Anyone? It hurts me to see their children treated this way, but I will start to lose friendships, I think, if I keep condemning their parenting and stating my opinion of how their behavior is damaging to themselves and their children. I have even considered breaking off the friendships myself, but you know, if I had not been lucky enough to find another way and be in enough pain to follow it and have a child stubborn enough to insist I follow it ... well, that would be me too.

Plus, isn't my presence in their lives and their children's lives actually a good thing? Even if all I do is say a silent prayer that they both find their way eventually, and try to stay steadfast in my example ... isn't that better than doing something that could remove my example that there *is* an alternative?

I don't know.

Re: about telling friends what you see

Lisa... Your love for your friends and their kids is admirable, and that love is the key that can unlock your greatest power of influence.

Try this experiment: Think about how much you love your friends... Feel it? ... Now think about "condemning their parenting"... Notice the shift in feeling? You can't love and condemn at the same time.

My point is that you don't have to condemn anything to make a difference. You can tell them what you see as an act of love rather than condemnation.

First you do a little centering to connect with your heart... perhaps just taking a deep breath and reminding yourself that at the root of her violent behavior is confusion and unmet needs, not inherent evil... behind the confusion is a decent human being who only wants to love and be loved.

Once you're seeing her through the eyes of love, THEN tell her what you see...

I dare you! :)

PS: Don't fall into the trap of thinking that all expressions of love must be placid. You can also express your love fiercely, if that's what feels authentic to you. A heart on fire can be a powerful agent of healing!