Saturday, November 17, 2018

Week 13 ~ Creating a Secure Life

I have been thinking about the many different ways we as parents raise our children. We all have different styles and wish to impart a variety of characteristics and goals onto our children. The majority of us want our children to be independent, flexible, responsible, secure, self confident, happy... the list goes on and on.  In my experience we all have one or another particular characteristic we want to impart to our children more than all the rest (or at least we put extra effort into that one aspect). My mother really wanted me to be a flexible person who could roll with the punches. She very much accomplished that goal for me. I really am a very flexible person that can change and adapt very quickly to whatever the environment or situation I find myself in. My family teases me sometimes about having a Plan A, B and C for every situation. If one doesn't work out, I quickly go on to the next plan. This was the armor for life my mother gave me. I have noticed that lots of parents I know would say independence would be the defining characteristic for their children. They tend heavily toward "free range" parenting. This is not my leaning at all. I am sure there are people who know me who would define me as a  "helicopter mom". They actually would be wrong, though.  According to Google, a helicopter mom swoops in and attempts to solve every problem that their child comes across and, in doing so, prevents the child from gaining independence. I do, however, want my children to truly feel secure. If I were asked what armor I most wanted my children to have when leaving the nest, it would be a strong sense of security. A strong sense of security, in my view, leads to self-confidence, independence and happiness. Frankly, kids love to have structure and and to the rules. I have seen this play out time and time again. Just recently one of Anne's friends sent me a thank you note, stating her appreciation of the opportunity to stay in my home for a few days. "I feel so safe in your home, it is the safest place I know," she wrote. This is a young woman who is being raised in a loving home, although very much in the free-range style. Her statement meant the world to me. I sometimes worry that I am not accomplishing my goal because Dean is such an anxious soul. Of course, I know his anxiety is because of his special needs, but still it was really nice to hear from an outsider.

Highlights from this week ~
my vintage kitchen tools
  • Anne got her first job!! She starts the 10th of December. She will be working for a small children's consignment shop that we have frequented for many years. She asked at what age they would hire teens. Immediately, the owner came out of her office and had Anne fill out an application. She was interviewed and hired right on the spot. She will be working two mornings a week, labeling clothes, putting them out on the floor, pulling expired clothing and moving them to the clearance area, and helping customers.  
  • We finished Christy by Catherine Marshal. I love this book and it drips with moral instruction on almost every page. It was a bit intense at times for my tender-hearted children. The book contains several chapters dealing in great detail with a horrible typhoid epidemic which kills several main characters. It is a true story, after all. We are moving on to gentler books for the holidays.
  • I continued to work on eBay and reduced more belongings in our house. Anne is helping me purge. I accomplished the kitchen this week and either got rid of or moved to our "for sale area" two boxes worth of stuff. I also labeled the inside of every cabinet with what belonged in it to help my crew get things to the right locations. 
  • Dean finished a book about Malala Yousafzai and we had many conversations this week about the importance of education around the world for women. He also was led to want to understand a bit more about world religions. I will be incorporating that into his world geography and cultures class.
  • We made it to all of our out-of-the-home activities. Crazy Wednesday is really working well for us, as it turns out.
  • Dean got a volunteer job helping back stage throughout The Nutcracker. He will be setting up the stage the day before tech starts. Then he will work with the professional back stage crew, moving things on and off the stage during tech/dress rehearsal and all of the performances. He is somewhat looking forward to this volunteer opportunity and not as anxious about it since he knows the people. I am so glad he was offered this opportunity, because I have always thought working on a back stage crew might be right up his alley.
  • As the cold moves in, we are having more and more game nights. We played board games almost every night this week.

Blessings, Dawn


  1. I know what you mean about creating a secure life for your kids. I am sure that others would call me a helicopter mom, too, but really, my kids are so much more confident and secure in themselves than any of their peers.

  2. I think Anne's friend offered you high honor! How lovely to know that you are achieving your goal! You are giving your kids and their friends a remarkable gift.

    Congrats to both Anne and Dean on their paying/volunteer jobs! I wish them well in their endeavors.

    And I wish you well in your continuing "Crazy Wednesdays." :)

  3. One of my first (and favorite) jobs was working in a consignment shop during college.