The Kids

The Kids

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

True Self

Why is it that children can be perfect angels in any setting except for their own home?

We had parent teacher conferences this past week and sat through two meetings of total praise of our kids. Really? Perhaps they were thinking of someone else's pride and joy?

Apparently, both Abby and Caleb are leaders in their class who are kind and considerate of others. They both share, listen and follow directions. And, my personal favorite, exercise self-control.

(Considering self-control is always the last star they earn on their chart at home, I found this particularly amusing.)

We heard examples of how sweet they are to their classmates. I am proud of them, but I am a bit confused on why this behavior is such a rare occurence in our house. These are the same kids who consistenly fight, argue, tease and hit each other. They are so competitve that it becomes a race to see who can get to the bathroom and wash their hands first. Abby constantly leaves Caleb behind and Caleb constantly screams in frustration at being left behind. When we have company, it gets worse. Any chance of self-control gets thrown out the window.

Yet, here I sit with two progress reports full of praise for these little humans we are attempting to raise. What happened?

I guess this is normal. We give our best to the public and save our true nature for those who will never leave us. Those of you who are married know exactly what I mean. Raise your hand if you have ever been in the middle of arguing with your spouse, only to have to answer the phone in a sweet voice that reflects nothing but peace on your side of the line. Or, one of my favorites, you are mad at each other in the car, but put on a happy face when you reach your destination. This is especially fun when your destination is church.

Who actually answers honestly when asked the question, "How are you today?" I think we give the generic "Good" with a smile and head nod because we know our true answer would terrify the one asking the question into never wanting to talk to us again.

We feel safe in our own homes to be ourselves and let all the ugly hang out. I suppose it is a good thing that my kids can be their true, sinful selves with each other-that tells me that they feel safe and know that nothing they do will make us love them less.

It would just be nice if they could show a little bit of their school selves at home from time to time...

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