Sunday, October 21, 2007

Resigning From Meddling

I handed in my resignation to my kids today. I am resigning from helping with any and all art projects they may have at school. I will provide materials and supplies. But beyond that, they are on their own, or must call on their dad.

I wonder if people who write for a living have a problem with this when their kids have a writing assignment. I can't help myself. They start describing some school project that is at all visual and creative, and I want to dive in. I try to just give a few suggestions for how approach it. But soon I find myself spilling out ideas, making suggestions for layout, or color, ..... I can't stop myself. Pretty soon I am thinking about the poster or diorama, or whatever, that I would make.

As you might imagine, this is not the best scenario for my kids. Inevitably they feel like I am taking over (no!), and are trying to figure out how to get me to just go away. So, in order to protect them, their work, and our relationship, I have resigned from helping with any and all artwork for school. I will help with math, science, writing, etc. It is easy for me to keep my distance there. But I am vulnerable to meddling in the extreme when it comes to art projects.

Sometimes our intentions to help someone, because we have the knowledge or experience, can be good. But we can lose sight of what help is wanted and needed. We can get too involved in someone else's outcome. Offering help is good. But needing to have it taken and acted upon crosses the line. Then it is no longer helping. It is meddling. Guilty as charged. I know this is not the only place that this comes up for me. But I am working on some of those as well.

How about you? Do you suffer from the need to help/meddle? How do you disengage yourself? What things are the hardest for you to resist? For me, it tends to be the very things I am most passionate about. I guess the passion can overtake our normal boundaries. All I can do is try to be conscious, and work to pull back when I sense I have begun to cross the line. It ain't easy, but neither is annoying those around you because you've gone too far.



Judy, I used to help my kids making posters for their projects. Can't help much with writing. I expalined how to do layout, how to choose colors and fonts. Later on they would do it by thenselves. I also asked them if i can help coloring the poster, with my left hand. :)

Other Judy (belcher) said...

Oh, Judy how you speak to me... I think meddle is my middle name! Yet, another thing that's been on my "work on" list that keeps getting longer. Another.... a mouth filter, seems the holes in the filter are a bit to large, need to tighten them up a bit - or maybe alot!

Judy said...

Ponsawan, I had to bite my tongue last night when I saw the finished poster with black and red lettering, and hot pink outlining the text boxes. My tongue will become exceptionally short if this keeps up!
Judy, we do appear to share more than the same first name, don't we? Maybe we filter out less of the good stuff as well. Maybe that's why they put up with us? Ya think???