Saturday, February 19, 2011


In one of the Neufeld videos (the ones on attachment) that I've been watching recently, Dr. Neufeld lists 4 elements we need to be effective parents: insight, patience, warmth and a very good lead.

Warmth challenges me.  I'm not sure I always know what it looks like or how to have/share it with others.  Neufeld talks about relational warmth being like the feeling of the sun shining upon us, causing us to want to cast off our capes of emotional protection to soak it in.

Being in a throng of families at the Great Wolf Lodge provided me with ample opportunity to look for warmth. What I noticed seems sad to me - in all these people, come to this place with their families for time away from the buzz of normal life to play together, I saw very little that looked like warmth to me.

Sometimes NOT seeing something is as helpful at identifying as seeing shining examples of it. I witnessed little hand-holding, back rubbing, arms around a shoulder, lap sitting, prolonged eye-contact or even just loving smiles. This austerity of connection is so not what I want for my family and relationships.  What would it cost me to glow a little love towards those close to me once an hour?  What difference would this tiny, easy, heart-felt kindness affect on the overall tone of our day and home?

1 comment:

Cerulean Bill said...

What you describe is how I am to most people. Very few penetrate my external appearance. I'm not cold or hostile, just not very open.

To my immediate family, though, it's completely different. Them, I can be and am totally open, subject onlyu to what appropriate with your children versus your spouse.

My wife has occasionally expressed surprise at the difference between 'me and her' and 'me and everyone else'. I'd *like* to be more open with people, but I never learned how.