The Giving Tree, Part II – The Taking Too Much Boy

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Hello TeamConfessioners! Just a quick reminder that this week’s post is a continuation of last week’s episode. So, if you haven’t had a chance to read Part I – The Giving Too Much Tree, you can pop over and do that now.

Last week, we talked about my new take on Shel Silverstein’s book, The Giving Tree, and we focused on the Tree. This week I’d like to talk about the Boy. More specifically, I’d like to talk about the Tree’s responsibility to the Boy.

If you remember, at the end of the book, the Tree and the Boy are left alone with zero resources…just a stump and an old man. As I change my perspective on the book from being a parenting manual to a parenting cautionary tale, I recognize two things I can do as the proverbial Tree in this story. Not only can I teach the Boy where my boundaries of giving are so I don’t give away all of who I am, but also how to recognize when it’s time to stop taking and from me and to start giving of himself. 

You guys know that I put a lot of thought into how I can gracefully let go of my children and offer them the room to grow into independent, self-supporting human beings. We just chatted about this at the end of September in How To Water A Teenager. But what I hadn’t been thinking about was my other obligation to my children if I want them to lead fulfilling lives. The other major ingredient to independence is not just about doing more for themselves, but also having the ability to recognize when it’s their turn to do things for others. I’m not interested in raising self-serving twerps who cut down an entire tree trunk to build a boat that they’ll inevitably lose interest in after one fishing season! Am I right, people?

I don’t know if you guys find this, but I think what happens in our home as the family grows is that G Man and I forget to reassign tasks. Like the Giving Tree, we often default to doing things because, for years, we were the only ones who could do them. But, that’s no longer the case. 

Asking the children to be more aware of the balance of giving and taking in our home might lead to a change in their behavior, or it might not. I’m certainly under no illusion that I’m going to get 100% compliance. But, The Giving Tree has convinced me that to keep asking is worth the effort. My life has always been the most gratifying when I’ve been willing to balance both my self-care and my care for others, and I think that’s a lesson worth teaching over and over and over again.

Alright Team, are there any procrastinators out there listening? You’re going to want to be sure to tune in next week! I’ve got a little reframing trick that’s worked wonders for me – you won’t want to miss it! 

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    Welcome to my blog! Here you can read about what’s on my mind as I try my best to recover from screaming at my kids and nagging the bejesus out my husband.

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