Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Yes! You are Your Brother's Keeper!
Well, yesterdays post illustrated what we do NOT strive for in this house..and looks like we will be teaching and teaching and learning and learning... The more we tell the kids to think of others first, the more we see and realize just how hard that is to do...and that the world will always tell them otherwise..that looking out for themselves is the path to happiness. Let me give you an illustration. We were selected to participate in an NIH study designed to study and enhance sibling relationships. They would pay us and gives us little perks, like Penn State t-shirts, coffee mugs etc.. This sounded good, especially getting paid! The requirements were weekly meetings for 1 hour after school (snacks provided) for the kids and an hour meeting once a week for a parent. Ok with us so far. Then, the reality of the study ... they were divided into small groups and were taught a red light, yellow light, green light approach to convey to the sibling if what he or she was doing was ok with them. What? The kid was supposed to put up his palm and say red light if the other sibling was "really" bothering him. Oh yes, I could definitely see how this would be effective! Once that kid put up his hand the other kid would immediately realize he was pushing too far and stop whatever he was doing immediately too. This is how it always works in families. Are you kidding? We are attempting in our house to value the opposite, think about what the OTHER person wants ... and the study never considered this. Where are the lessons of St Francis?... seek to understand, not to be understood ... seek to love not to be loved, seek to console not to be consoled ... the opposite of this study, the opposite of yesterdays gun trade. How can any relationship be enhanced if you think only about yourself? I told the PhD candidates who were in charge of the study that I objected to the premise and that the study would not enhance the sibling relationship, because it was only self-centered. I was not popular at this point, and the other parents were silent and glad they weren't my friend. Yet ... we have to have each others' backs ... because we ARE our brother's keeper,(we are every human beings keeper) and sometimes that is hard, but it is not impossible.
Posted by Annmarie Pipa at 8:18 AM