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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

From Paranoid Projectionists to Proactive Parents

As many Type A parents, I am a projectionist.  No, I don’t work in the dark recesses of a movie theatre, instead, I labor in the dark corners of my kids’ lives.  I can predict every potential (generally negative) natural outcome of my children’s behavior.

“Shut up,” this one says to that sibling in the family.

“What-?!” comes my ballistic response.  “WHAT did you say-?!”

“We don’t talk like that in this family,” Benedetto reinforces.

When we pull over on the side of the road, exiting the highway to have a chat outside the car with the day’s offender, the reel begins projecting.

I imagine not a family car pulled over, but a barred-window bus from the Division of Prisons and Corrections, my child in prison garb working, picking up trash in a chain gang.  Officers observe the outing, toting high-powered rifles at the ready.

Images like this keep parents vigilant.  Not eating their peas and carrots?  No doubt they’ll grow into some emaciated, and anemic, sorry specimen of a human being.  Probably be on drugs and have greasy hair.

Your daughter smiles at every boy in her class, or in the neighborhood, wearing fashions fit for a floozy.  It’s not difficult to project a teen pregnancy and living in the poverty-rife housing projects, baby on her hip, and cigarette dangling from her mouth.  This is our Parenting Early Warning Detection System kicking into high gear.

Which begs the question:  why do we usually imagine and magnify the worst?

Most of us understand that anything left to itself tends to decay and disaster:  a home untouched by repair or upkeep, a car without a driver at the wheel, a garden overgrown with weeds, a child lacking a parent who trains and corrects.  These once-happy stories turn into tragedies.

Round the clock vigilance is called-for if we want to move from paranoid projectionists to proactive parents.  All that we can control is the here and now (and some days, that’s very dicey).  If your child is swinging the cat by the tail, stealing songbooks at church, doing drugs after school, or slipping out the window by night, you need to intervene.

Get out of the dark projectionist’s booth and move into the light of the theatre of life.  Forget about what “may” happen and deal with the child right now that’s throwing popcorn, spilling drinks, and kicking the seat in front of him.  It won’t escalate in the future if we stop what we can stop in the present.

As for me, I’m going to project the positive and see where the story will take us.

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12 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar Phyllis says:

    Very good and very timely!

  2. avatar Lisa says:

    LOL! Ah yes, I recently projected my daugter with the cigarette dangling, floozy clothes and ME caring for her baby at the age of 70… Yikes. I also could see her as a firefighter or a veterinarian. Hopefully she will remain short, if she is tall she might become a supermodel, uh oh. Thanks for your continued support in my efforts to not go crazy.

  3. avatar Gwendolyn says:

    Aha, I’m not alone on any of these counts! LOL.

  4. avatar Lisa says:

    Gwen…remember me from almost three years ago, sitting on your bed in that tiny hotel room in Stavropol? I was doing some projecting then! What a wild ride it has been.
    Lisa (Katya’s mom)

  5. avatar Sybil says:

    I am projecting, “Harry is not married yet, Harry is not married yet, Harry is not married yet!”

  6. avatar Sybil says:

    I do, I do! I have a gorgeous Russian/Ukrainian girl that is not ready for marriage, but would love to meet him. lol

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