Saturday, October 5, 2013

40 Days to Better: Day 34

I normally write after I run.  This morning, for the second straight morning, I am waiting to see if my stomach calms down enough to run.  Don't know what has been going on with the GI system for the past two days.  Certainly hope I don't feel like this next Saturday on the morning of the Baltimore running festival.

In any case, there is a topic I have been thinking about all week.  Thinking back to the old song by The Police that includes the lines "If you love somebody" (over and over again) followed by "Set them free."  Whatever the context of this in the song sung by The Police, I am thinking of this in terms of a child.  I was inspired to think about this because of an issue in Sunday school that I had a long discussion with Sherry about afterwards and eventually asked the Director of Religious Education at my church to help me with.

A well meaning parent, in a family in which both parents had described their child as very shy, wanted to volunteer in my classroom.  So, on the third Sunday of this year's Sunday School program, this parent was in the classroom.  The child acted completely differently.  The child who had been a little antsy became very antsy.  The child who while not volunteering a lot had responded politely when asked questions suddenly didn't respond to me.

Was this the first time I had seen a child act completely differently around parents than not around parents?  No.  I've been at parenting long enough to have seen this in a variety of settings.  

But in this case it was clear that the parent needed to let the child "be free." At least of the parent.  At least for one hour on a Sunday morning.  To let the child just be the child.  To see how the child would behave.  To see what the child would take away from the experience.  To see what the progress the child will make.

I am no miracle worker as a Sunday school teacher.

I am not perfect as a Sunday school teacher.

I am sure that some parents would find my conversational style with the kids unusual.  Some parents probably expect Sunday school to be a lecture (one-to-many in at least some educators' language) rather than a discussion.  While I want to have a discussion.  I want the kids to be active.  I may even choose (if the seats are set up to help this) to sit with the kids rather than stand at the front of the room this week.  

Is there a bigger lesson here?  For parenting--for sure.  In any situation, I have to assess whether y guidance is too much.  Whether my efforts to seemingly help may actually hinder my child's development.

As a manager and leader--perhaps.  When I am micromanaging but should trust my staff to do their jobs?  

In running--there is something about micromanaging.  Last night I wrote about being too analytical.  Too control.  Rather than just following my heart and legs.  So, maybe there is even a lesson here for running.

Fascinating--as so much of what I have written about in these 40 days on the road to better has been about how lessons from running permeate the rest of my life.  Today, I have turned that on its head and taken a lesson from elsewhere and linked it back to running.  Funny how life works that way sometimes.  

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