Christian Zen Parenting

There are times when I would like to strangle my daughters.
I think that the urge surfaces when the very traits I wish I did not have, I recognize in them.
When we have a strong negative reaction to someone, we can be certain that they’re reflecting traits that we also possess but have been unwilling to embrace. ~Deepak Chopra

My goal to parent like a "Christian Zen Master" challenges me on a daily basis.
It is not for the premenstrual.
This type of parenting is usually characterized by Job-like patience and calm wisdom.
I often fail.
I failed a couple of days ago while presiding over a few sibling disputes involving germs, a water bottle, a kick to the shins and the rights to the airwaves in our kitchen.

To parent like Christ or the buddha one must:
Keep an open mind and not be quick to make judgements.
I shouldn't have perceived K's commandeering of the kitchen speakers with an abrupt command for G's silence as an act of bullying.
I should have paused before speaking screaming until I got a sense of where her irritability was from.
I might have realized that it was stress related.
My yelling and berating had K in tears up until it was time to leave our house for basketball practice.
Steve looked at me and said, "it breaks my heart."
Not unkindly, he also added, "I don't think screaming was the right approach."
"And I am guilty of it too," He was quick to add.
I nodded.
And then I reassured him that K was going to come home from basketball completely fine.
I knew this because I had prayed.
"If you ask for anything in My name, I will do it."  ~John 14:14

When K arrived home that evening, she proceeded to practice her song.
Our eyes met briefly yet we exchanged no words about the pre-basketball stand off that had ended with her fierce avowal to skip her auditions.
After she rehearsed, she never spoke of how vulnerable she felt at the thought of auditioning for the joint high school musical of her all girls' school and the neighboring boys' school.
I did not point out how brave I thought she was for doing this, a mere two weeks into high school.
I did not tell her that she was making me proud.
"Less talk, less mistake. No talk, no mistake."  ~Mario Silva

The next day however, minutes before she auditioned she sent me this text:
"I'm scared."
I replied, "I am praying for you."

I picked up a very much relieved K,  after the auditions.
She was so glad it was over, yet she did not regret doing it.
(very much like my experience with childbirth)
Although she did not get a part in the school musical, she is not deterred from trying again.
It was while listening to her that I realized that this daunting experience added not only to her growth and development but also to my own.

"We are glad for our troubles because we know troubles produce endurance." ~Romans 5:3