February 20, 2012
Blissful ignorance! Back when I was a child, I can remember caring less about what my dad was listening to on talk radio or what my parents were conversing about at home. The world's or my town's politics, drama and issues were a foreign concept.
I spent my days finding frogs, eating whatever I could get my mouth around and just being silly. Oh! What a time to be at peace. I was fortunate enough to have two loving parents and only semi-quarrelsome siblings. My parents rules were simple:
1) Love God
2) Love your family and friends
3) Listen to your elders - euphemism for listen to us and you will be smart
4) Study hard
5) Eat what is put in front of you even if you want to throw it across the room
6) Stay out of trouble
I had the biggest trouble with number 6. I talked too much to honor that rule.
Today, I marvel at how difficult it is to instill the same beliefs in my own children. Most days I feel that I am sending a clear and loving message. However, often I feel unheard and abused. In reality, my father felt the same way and I turned out ok (according to me).
Blissful ignorance is hard to achieve with a full adult conscience. I am thankful that my children appear blissfully ignorant to the world's troubles. With so much difficulty in the world, it is a good thing to love your children in a way that allows them to grow with nature and friends without us burdening them with our issues and trials.
I am amazed at how many children act out and come in for behavioral issues. When you sit with the child you often find that they are responding to a non blissful life stress. For example, at a recent visit a mother informed me that her child was becoming aggressive and it had a start date. When we went back to look at that time period we found that he was reacting to a perceived father figure loss. His mother's brother was in town to visit for three weeks. He was happy! His own father is non existent.
After three weeks the uncle had to leave. The aggression took off. Blissful ignorance was gone. The reality of the single parent household hit him in the face.
Ideally, the 6 rules are still in play, but the bliss is shaken.
As a parent, this is the time to love and support your child and ask the hard questions about what is bothering them. Let them open up and speak of the pain and return to blissful ignorance.
My take home point today: Be blissfully ignorant to that which you do not need to burden yourself with!