I have a lot of strong opinions. Like, really strong opinions that I have thought about a lot, researched intensely, experienced deeply, and observed thoroughly. These strong opinions influence the way that I see the world, and the way that I engage with it. They have strong bearing on my life. Since I live in community, and spend time with children, my strong opinions can influence them.
I sometimes even try to influence them with my strong opinions.
Lately I have felt like Milo doesn’t say everything he intends to do, and doesn’t speak to everything he’s done at the end of the day because he knows that I have some really strong opinions about the choices he makes. He has it right. I do have some strong opinions that see some of his choices as . . . bad!
Oh No! I don’t work in the traditional education system, in large part, because the design of it makes kids see themselves as. . . bad! And here I go, working in a system that establishes deeper relationships, because it creates even more trust! So when if I make Milo feel bad, then I make Milo feel Really Bad!
But. . . fortunately, one of my very strong opinions buffers the potential harm that my lot of other very strong opinions might inflict on my kids. This morning, in change-up meeting, I told Milo that at the beginning of the day, and at the end of the day, he needs to put the things he chose to spend his time doing. Then, in an attempt to make Milo more likely to actually do that, I lied to him. I said:
“Look I don’t care what you choose to do.”
I care tremendously what he chooses to do. I have a lot of very strong opinions about what he should do. I think he should spend more time outside, I think he should exercise more, I think he should eat healthier, I think he should blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
I don’t go around saying this to him all the time, because (duh) it doesn’t work to do that. Whether I say it or not, Milo knows I think it. Sometimes, he knows the place of love that it comes from, and he starts thinking it too. Then, sometimes, he even chooses to act on it.
But I lied to him. And I caught myself in that lie instantly, because it didn’t feel true when I said it and I said:
“you know what? I lied, I do care what you do, I do think you should do certain things and not do certain things. You will have people in your life who care about what you do. People you love and who love you. You need to make the decisions for yourself. Ultimately, you need to know what you want to do, and do that.”
Milo looked at me with clear eyes and said: “OK.”
I have a lot of very strong opinions, and I really, really want to share them with you, but, ultimately, you need to create your own world by making your own choices because you developed your own opinions.
Of course, that’s just my opinion.