Today is installment number two in a four-part series on the role self-awareness plays in helping us shine brighter. The focus of today is Habits. Last week Katie asked me a series of questions during... Read More »
DO52: Permit, a Winning Word
Thank goodness the weather in Dallas was nice on Sunday.
It meant all seven teenage boys who came to my house to watch the Super Bowl could comfortably sit in our outdoor living space and do what a group of boys that age do when the get together. Eat, drink, make noise, play games with the intent of hurting each other, eat some more, drink some more, make more noise, and occasionally and unintentionally break something.
We’re not normally that house; the house kids go to when they’re looking for the best place to hangout. In part because we have no gaming system (see post from last week) and in part because the qualities associated with being “those parents” was, unfortunately, not built into my, or my husband’s, DNA.
We relish quiet and order and we have too many opinions about how young people should and shouldn’t be spending their time. We notice eye contact and firmness of handshake and can’t resist the urge to occasionally inject life lessons into what are supposed to be casual conversations. We see our son and his friends as the next generation of leaders when, in reality, they just want to be fourteen year-old boys.
But my DO52™ verb this week was “permit” and, while I thought long and hard about the kind of undertaking I could get involved with that would require a permit, I knew deep down inside I wanted to use this week’s verb as an opportunity to say “yes” to whatever requests my teenage son made of me.
Saying “no” is easy and, for many of us, instinctive. “No” keeps things as they are, allowing us to feel a sense of order, control and predictability, whereas “yes” opens the floodgates to all sorts of unknowns.
“No” is restrictive, while “Yes” is expansive.
“No” is dismissive and maybe even a little distrustful.
“Yes, on the other hand, is inviting and curious.
When I think about the kind of person (and parent) I want to be, I’m drawn toward the words in the “yes” column, but all too often I default to the behaviors in the “no” column.
Truth is, having Matthew and his friends around last night to watch the Super Bowl was great. I don’t know how much of the game they even watched or, if they actually cared who won. They ate a lot of chips and wings, though, and drank a lot of soft drinks. In the post-play review, I can say nothing got broken, they weren’t all that loud, handshakes were firm, and every boys, to a person, thanked us for the invitation to be there.
Richard and I went to bed feeling like National Champs.