Stay on the Platform

That time I didn’t follow my own advice…

Last fall I hosted a book club to read and discuss Jen Hatmaker’s latest book, For the Love. It was such an awesome time reading and laughing and thinking and considering and challenging and all that fun stuff. The book is awesome. If you haven’t read it, go order it now. If you’ve never heard of Jen Hatmaker, click over to her website, Twitter page, Insta account and read everything. I’ll wait…

Anyway, as part of the book’s launch, Jen did a video each week for four weeks talking about a section of the book and answering questions. During week two an awesome question came in that asked Jen how to handle teenagers and their particular brand of crazy. If you want to see Jen’s response, which is so brilliant, watch the video below. This question and Jen’s answer come in at the 17 minute mark if you want to go straight to the point of this blog post.
So, basically, Jen suggests that we let our kids go crazy, but we wisely keep ourselves from engaging in the crazy with them. Don’t let them drag us into the crazy. Stay planted on the platform while they take a trip on the crazy train and wait for them to get back. I don’t have teenagers, yet. I have a 10 year old, an 8 year old and a 1 year old. So, my thought was, “Well, when they meltdown I just won’t get all wrapped up in the emotion of it. I will remain calm. I’m an adult. I can do that. It will be so easy. It’s a revelation. I should share this wisdom with everyone in the book club because it will change my life and it will surely change their lives, too.”
Some of my book club girls and my favorite part of the introduction from For the Love.

The next time we met for book club I had the video all cued up to show my friends and we talked about it afterward and it was lovely. That night I was still thinking about this revolutionary advice and how I was now equipped to handle any highly charged situation with my kids. But, as I sat next to my husband on the couch I thought I should share the video with him. He needed this wisdom as well (even though he’s much better in general at not engaging in the crazy and staying on the platform). I was sure he would be so grateful for this enlightenment. He watched the 4 minute clip with one eye on the football game. He didn’t laugh at Jen’s humor because he’s a guy and whatever. But, he knew it was important to me, so he put on a good show of being interested and was mostly convincing.

I went to bed feeling very smug and self-assured because this one nugget of parenting wisdom was going to change everything. THE. VERY. NEXT. MORNING. my husband witnessed me not only buckling myself onto the crazy train but he also saw me figuratively dragging our child with me onto the ride. My CHILD was not the one to lose it first. He didn’t melt down… It was ME. As Jen Hatmaker would say, I "lost my crap" and the worst part was that it wasn't over something big. It was over a Scholastic book order form and the child holding the book order form was mercilessly hauled off the platform and onto the ride. I saw it happening, but the train was already pulling away from the platform. The best I could hope for was to keep my arms and legs inside the car at all times.

What in the world is wrong with me?? First of all it was 7:50am, we had to leave for school in 5 minutes and I hadn’t had enough coffee. In all seriousness, it’s like praying for patience. You know you’ll get a chance to practice your patience real quick when you ask God to give you some. I think I responded to the idea of Jen’s advice so eagerly because I knew it was something I struggled with. When my kids push my buttons, I get worked up more quickly than I do with any other person in my life. But the kicker was that it wasn't my kid who was pushing my buttons. He just wanted me to buy him a book. Sure, he waited until the last possible minute to remind me of the book order form, but its my job as a parent to handle those situations with some finesse. It could have become a "teachable moment" for him about responsibility, but instead I was the one who was taught. At the first test of my new wisdom, I turned the tables on myself and I was the one who lost it and acted crazy – in front of my whole family. Nice.

You know what they say, the first step is admitting you have a problem. My husband called me later that afternoon to ask me how I was feeling after my ride on the crazy train. The good news is that I could recognize that it was happening. I didn’t do anything to stop it in that moment, but I knew it was happening. And, the great news is that I’ve done a better job since then. I’ve started to realize what triggers my reactions. When I start to step off the platform and get on the crazy train, I can more and more easily pull my foot back and plant it on the platform (usually). Maybe we can talk here in the Haven about what sets us off one of these days.

My advice to you… don’t let the book order form get the best of you.

P.S. The super cute woman in the video with Jen Hatmaker is her friend Jamie Ivey who also happens to have an awesome podcast called the Happy Hour (and Jen has joined her on three episodes of her podcast). I have LOVED every episode of the Happy Hour and highly encourage you to check it out.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I'm glad to hear from you here in the Haven!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...