2. Being Overly Critical
When it comes to teaching our kids we have to choose our spots, especially when pointing out when they have erred. Our kids need to know that we are their best ally, not their worst critic. You don’t need to have a discussion about every mistake they make. They probably are aware already that they messed up. Instead, ask them questions about how they feel, what they think they might have done different, and then give them encouragement. Tell them stories of your own failures at the same age. Listening and empathizing will earn you currency. Also, make sure you get excited and ask a lot of questions when they experience success. That will be their favorite subject.
In this season of life, I work as an administrative assistant at a local architectural firm. Essentially I spend my time balancing the front office (clients, ordering, etc.) all the while providing assistance to 2 bosses and 7 employees of varying titles. I often find myself being dragged and pulled in opposite directions based upon some sort of cryptic hierarchy of needs. While my position can be stressful, I do enjoy the field I work in.
When I am not at work, I am a:
- Bible Study Host/Teacher
- Video Game Connoisseur
I also spend various evenings and early morning hours devoted to learning the craft of web design. We all need a dream, right?
Something that I have been learning, lately, is not to let other’s stress become my own.
Putting stress within its proper context, is an art that everyone should practice daily. Below are a few examples of deflecting stress:
.: Example A :.
You have designed a web site for a company and have given them the keys. You no longer have anything to do with the site. Soon after, one of their employees comes to you wanting to change a portion of the site. Happy to help, you listen as the employee describes something the site was never built to do. Graciously you smile, tell the employee to check with the companies designated web master, and you move on.
.: Example B :.
It is 4:30PM on a beautiful Thursday afternoon. Office supplies have dwindled down to the last paperclip. A fellow employee vents to you that they are about to use said paperclip and that you need to go out and get more, stat! In the most professional manner, you assure your co-worker that supplies will be ordered tomorrow. The paperclip crisis, small as it is, has been averted.
Stress isn’t worth it.
While the rest of the United States eagerly awaited the opening of Super Bowl XLIV, I was off watching Dateline NBC’s ‘To Catch a Predator‘ marathon. For those that are not familiar with this series of investigative work, ‘To Catch a Predator’ is an elaborate series of sting operations hosted by:
- Dateline NBC
- Perverted Justice, a non-profit foundation
- Local police authorities
Through the course of one episode –that was about all I could stomach for a night– predators from all walks of life were busted by the sting operations. Like who you may ask?
- A minister
- A cancer researcher
- A father
- A guy that had just turned 22
The list goes on. When the thought of a child predator comes to mind, one does not think of a next door neighbor or a trusted family member. Perhaps they should.
In watching the show, I was struck by how much the Internet causes a loss of community. Online, people are able to live out their wildest fantasies without any sort of consequences. Unless they are caught by a hidden camera news show like ‘To Catch a Predator’. When being interrogated, after being caught, these predators showed much remorse over their actions being revealed to others (in this case the interrogator). In light of community, of a fellow man, the act of sleeping with an child seemed revolting to these would be predators. Let’s see:
Light + Community = Accountability
Accountability somehow failed in these cases though. Many of the men that were caught were married. Why didn’t their wives know about their activities online? Not trying to fault the spouse, but this shows that no accountability system was in place. There was a failure in the system. The fact that some of these guys drove 2-4 hours just for the opportunity to sleep with a little girl, demonstrates their lack of being plugged in with others.
In our brave new digital age, being known in real life is the struggle. Anyone can act out their impulses in the obscurity of the Internet. Anyone. However, it takes a real man or woman to let themselves be known by others; to plug themselves into a community. Accountability is the fruit of living in community. Accountability is something we need more of.