Poofy sleeves, dresses, and guilt…

Do you remember times growing up when you told adults what they wanted to hear? Why did we do that? In our youth we should have felt free to say exactly what was on our mind.

I remember my grandma would buy my sister and me a dress each Easter. It was our Easter Sunday dress. Usually I hated it. I would wear it on Easter Sunday and then hide it in the back of my closet in hopes that she would never remember that she purchased it for me (or that I never wore it again). As I got older my mom encouraged me to just tell my grandma that I did not like it and that I would like to return it. It was always hard for me to tell her. I felt awful. I always thought I was hurting her feelings. Bummer, right?

a smile for the smurf cake, not sure about that dress though…

So…I wonder…what is it that makes kids feel they cannot be upfront? What made me just want to hide the dress and not discuss it with her? Partly I think it had to do with my dad who often would shut us down if we ever got the guts to confront him (which was rare). I think it imbedded into my thick skull that confrontation and speaking my mind was a bad thing. I was being disrespectful to my elders.

Something shifted inside me in college, almost to the opposite extreme, where now it is hard for me to keep my mouth shut. Now, that does not mean that I do not hold back. It also does not mean that I just steamroll everyone. I am pointed and thoughtful about my confrontation, but I feel less and less uncomfortable with saying what needs to be said.

What if we were able to raise children that had no fear of taking risks? Of speaking their mind and confronting their elders rationally? Does that teach them how to continue in their life with strength, poise, and determination? Sounds better to me than putting on that balloon dress to avoid confrontation.

What do you think?

2 thoughts on “Poofy sleeves, dresses, and guilt…

  1. I think that as kids, we look for appreciation and acceptance more than anything else on earth. We’re told we’re “tiny” and “young” and that we have a lot to learn in life, of which we no nothing. This is sometimes direct but more often, indirect. As a result, we seek to know whether we’re doing things the right way or not and so that intense desire to please always exists. I’m 17 now, but I still feel the desire to please my adult family and any adults I meet. I can rarely argue with them at all; it’s been indoctrinated in me snce forever. That’s my belief on it.

    If, like you suggest, we raise our children in this way, we’d have open minded, practical, and DEFINITELY much more intelligent offspring. On the other hand, maybe values like respect for elders would diminish? Just thinking about both sides. I’d love to have ideal kids; those that behave beautifully but haven’t been glazed by my words or actions or have developed any complexes as a result of my parenting. Can both of these thigns occur? In one individual?

    Your blog is lovely. keep ’em comin’! 🙂


  2. Such great ideas and thoughts you shared! I think it is possible. With honest and integrity, I think a balance kid can be raised to respect their elders and yet be open minded and practical, and think on their own.

    Thank you for sharing!


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