We have all had time to button our pants back, so grab a cuppa. Snuggle into a rocker. This has been a fun and productive week. The schedule stood on its head. Clyde is curious, as always. Let’s talk.
This week has seen more manuscripts make their way to the final layout. The ISBN are going to be attached in the next week. Then, we will be ready for proofing!
The forum has been hopping. There is a holiday project in the WIP room, new replies in the Gratitude thread and a rumor someone is going to put in a playpen… for all those times silliness is the only solution.
The main site will go live quietly. The M3 Readers are welcome to come, register, scroll around. The bookstore is on track to be ready. Everyone pass a thought this way for no more software crashes. I am currently on the fourth (4!) piece of software. I am the reigning alpha queen. I can break anything you send to beta (or stable) as though I was on an alpha team.
Too bad the pay is not commensurate with the jewels.
I knew when I posted Bad it would garner many comments. You are amazing. In what is bordering on our longest conversation on M3, traffic remains high to ingest the topic and the comments. All of it makes me want to buy an island.
No, not to get away. To build the world we discussed. No matter how many ways I say it, you are the single most enlightened, intelligent, compassionate and reasoned audience anywhere.
Another post which got everyone talking, even those who were not sure what they wanted to say, was But Not. There were many interpretations of it. The SIB held quite a few requests to have me reveal what Mantra had in mind when this one hit the notebook.
Considering I attempted five other verbs for the last line, I always came back to “break”. It really was romantic.
Through the stanzas, the theme was: What everyone else expects is not what Mantra was after. Regardless of the amount of work we pour into being what we expect others want of us, it is emotionally easier than being ourselves. Over and over, Mantra chanted what she wanted was not what the accepted version of “ideal” was.
She harkened back to the Strength & Weakness series. She was not looking for a breadwinner, a savior, a fixer, a seducer, a guide. Instead, she wanted Mate to let it go and be Mate by embracing the opposite.
In the end, she asked for reciprocity: to be allowed to be herself without the trappings of expectations; to break the cycle of going through the motions; to be free. Overall, it was very romantic.
My apologies to the colorblind in the crowd, but the changes around here are cosmetically obvious to everyone else. Green and red are my colors… as if you could not tell by the posts, my hair and the color scheme. I am behind on updating the Alumni Club, the Map and no, that is all. There have been updates to the Green Room (more than 15), Updates Only, The Office (everyone should have read these…yes, you), Widowed Blog Hop and About Momma.
The poll is going to be a casualty. As much as I have relied on the polls to do various things around here, they are an invasive piece of software which has come to the end of its usability. I will be looking into other alternatives, but for now, it is going to fall by the wayside. More on this at the end.
The sharing bar at the bottom is one of my favorite new pieces. I am aware of the issue with the Pinterest sharing tools. From all the information I could gather, it is a problem between the core WP software driving this flying circus and Pinterest. No clue when it will be fixed, but the solutions I know so far are cookie based: Empty your cookies from the last hour, and it should work. Meh. If you are on Pinterest, bug them to create a portable button.
The Love! button is fixed. I have deleted and destroyed all evidence of what was causing it to malfunction. Press it when you like something. If you come back and read later and like it (again, some more, still), press it again. I will never know. The top posts displayed in the right side bar are new and based on your showing Love!
Right Turn, Clyde!
So, Clyde wants to talk about apples. No, not the apples from the last SEP: The kind which never fall far from the tree. Generally, those are the rotten kind.
When we talk about stellar characteristics we hold in high regard, we are unlikely to credit the parents with the instillation and nurturing of said characteristics. As shameful as that is, let’s move on to something different.
Talk about horrible habits and bad traits: Fingers jab and thumbs jerk toward the parents. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Now, Ralph Waldo Emerson meant something different in 1839, but H.W. Thompson did not.
Clyde wants to know why we credit children’s (even the grown ones) bad behavior to the parents. Although bad behavior can be learned anywhere, we should do the responsible thing and be totally honest: More often than not, it is apt.
We have discussed the original social circle; It consists of the nuclear family. (You need to know the real definition. We will wait.) During our identity formation, it is the most powerful of circles. Just as ripples lose effect as they broaden, so do social circles.
Looking at the most egregious of behaviors, we find they are most often witnessed by the child and aped. (No offense taken by Clyde.) Ergo, Johnson’s application is correct: The apple never falls far from the tree.
Barring psychopathic and sociopathic behaviors, the majority of bad behavior can be traced directly back to the parents. Before you start decrying your children’s bad behavior as not my fault, let’s have a few examples.
The authoritative parent is the one who produces the largest herd of memes. This parent is quick to employ Do as I say, not as I do. Child learns to do as Parent says in front of Parent and what Parent does behind Parent’s back.
A good example of this is children of alcoholic/addicted parents. While they profess no drinking/drugs to the children, in an effort to relieve themselves of the weight of parental responsibility and return to their self-serving behavior, children mimic what they see. Child learns Parent can do this and still be a Parent. Child sees no reason not to master the skill on the sly, serving self just as Parent does.
The drama family has theatre in their blood. From a young age, Child sees Parent panic at e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. Each disappointment is a catastrophe. Every
illness wound hangnail produces a near-death experience. Every award is the only one ever to be bestowed and the last of its kind because there is no one else on the planet, ad infinitum, will ever be as laudable or worthy.
By the time Child becomes Teen, the two are competing for the limelight. Teen leaves Parent’s home to engage Mate with all the same drama and trauma. To the outside onlooker, it is an obvious inheritance. Neither of them are likely to see it, much less admit it.
Passive-aggressive behavior is learned. Some apples fall across the fence, but many of them land directly at the foot of the tree. Child will use these tactics where they will be most effective, namely against peers and siblings. When they are gainfully employed in adulthood, they are most successful in fields where deception is an asset. For the record: Passive-aggressive behavior is a form of abuse.
Many other behaviors are directly passed from Parent to Child: co-dependence, physical abuse, theft, lying, lack of personal responsibility. Often one or the other will see the behavior in the other as bad. Call it Blindness.
Break the Cycle
Not growing up to be your parent is something all of us attempt to do. It is the human trait responsible for the cyclical nature of our history. While separate, distinct identity can be readily achieved when we apply ourselves to learning why our parents do things a certain way, many forego the effort in favor of being better at it than Parent.
Clyde thinks the apple has a worm through it.
Until next time,
Name a trait in your family you are grateful not to have “inherited”. What is one way to ensure we are not passing down bad behavior to our children?
If a Survey Monkey is installed on M3, would you use it? Have you entered to win copies of Christine’s books? Did you have a good turkey day?
When you tweet or +1 this post, please use the hashtags #parenting and #psychology.
(c) Red Dwyer 2012
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