Monday, May 17, 2010

resourcestærke forældre


i've written before about resourcestærke forældre. it's a danish phrase that's haunted me ever since it was used in some or other note sent home by the school when sabin was in nulte class (grade 0). directly translated it's "resource-strong parents,"and i'll admit i initially thought it was about money, but it's more metaphorical than that. it's more about how strong you are as a parent - how many resources you have and by resources i think they mean whether you have the proper surplus to be a good parent. do you have the energy, patience and time it takes? do you take the child to activities, do you make her do her homework, do you read enough to her, do you give her a proper lunch, does she brush her hair and teeth on a daily basis, do her socks match, does she have clean clothes, do you make sure she has playdates with her friends?

as i watch the child pull her hair back into a ponytail and run a brush through just the tips of it, i wonder sometimes if i'm particularly resourcestærk. with my tendency want to buy my way out of trouble with her (see recent acquisition of horse) and desire to see new pretty electronics (see recent iPhone and iPad acquisitions) as a bandaid of sorts for hurts both imagined and real, i've had a sneaking suspicion that i'm not doing all that well on the resourcestærk front.

you're given the one chance with a child (well, if you only have the one, like i do), so there's a lot of pressure to get it right. you want that child to have the best opportunities, to be good at things she loves, to see the world, to fly business class (you get the idea)....but it's all so fragile, isn't it? things can seem to be going well and then there's a big giant melt-down and homework doesn't get done and tears flow and threats are issued by a parent (who is not me but who shall remain nameless) in a moment of non-resourcestærke-ness and frustration and everyone ends up with a big fat headache that can only be cured by going over and hugging the horse and breathing in her horsey-ness and listening to her crunch some grain soothingly. and then you realize it's really the horse that's resourcestærke and you probably should have acquired her long ago, tho' she would probably be pretty heavy on the carrots in the lunchbox if she were making it...

11 comments:

spudballoo said...

Oh cry, I dunno. I think I'm pretty rubbish on many levels at this parenting thing so your post made me cry. But she's a lovely girl, so resourceful, creative and holds her own in a crowd of grown ups and strangers. Plus speaks two languages (as far as I know, perhaps more). She looks pretty good to me so she's doing fine in my book.

I think guilt/beating oneself up is part of the parenting 'thang' I'm afraid. We're all different, she's finding her way. Step back and let her do it because she's a wonder and a blessing. xxxxx

Barb said...

I'm glad Spud cried, cause I did too. I think about all the times one of my boys asked "Mom, will you play a game with me?" and I've said "No, I have to [cook, do the laundry, dust the furniture, pay bills, etc]". I did let my son sleep with me last night (hubby is out of town). Mostly I regretted it - I got kicked all night - but he'd been having trouble falling asleep (it was 11:00, he'd been tossing and turning since 9:00). He was asleep in minutes in Mom's bed.
Thanks for a beautiful post.

Sammi said...

Well Julie somethings you write about parenting are different to the way my parents brought me up, but that's the point isn't it? Everyone does it differently, whatever this resourcestarky malarky is can be applied, I guess, but from what I see on here seems to me Sabins pretty amazing, and well brought up. And everyone has down days. Parents and kids alike... and sometimes, even if a new home is exciting, and a new horse is amazing, moving half way across the country, which may not seem such a long way to adults, is a million miles to a kid! And sometimes we forget what it was like to be that age... But in the end it will all work out and Sabin will be asking again why on earth it was you bought her all those legos.

xxxx

Savitra said...

What goes on during child rearing, especially for the first 10-12 years is mostly parent driven. Of course you do what you do with best intentions ... but soon after that the child will change and you will forever be discussing the old bug-a-boo of "nature vs. nurture".

So, hang on, soon enough she will grow into a new person and all the angst you are currently dealing with will become something else - and your control over those developments will be minimal.

Also, you will look back and wonder about so many things you did when she was young - and more than a few times you will think, "I could have done many things differently."

dutchbaby said...

The fact that you wrote this post already makes you "resourcestærke forældre". I can tell that you love her from the core of your being and I assure you that Sabine knows this too. Knowing that will carry her forward into adulthood and you will be a proud, proud Mama!

Joanna Jenkins said...

"Resourcestærke" is a great word!

I'm not a parent so I can only speak from the child's point of view (a "child" age 52). My parents were present and that was huge for me growing up. I might not have wanted to talk to them all the time and I know I was a surly teenager but they were always present in my life-- I knew it and it made a difference. Writing this posts means you're present in your daughter's life and that's HUGE.

Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog. I know how swamped you are with the move and I appreciate the visit.

Hang in there,
jj

Shokoofeh said...

Love your words. so. much.

xo

City Soliloquy said...

What beautiful words and a poignant topic. I wonder if my parents ever worried about these kind of things when I was growing up, maybe they still do, trying to give their children the best of everything.

For me the best resource my parents could give me was time, and not just taking me out for fun days, walks and playing in the sandpit or the park. But just being around.

The very fact you've written this topic, as dutchbaby commented above, makes you a great parent. Amen to that!

Anonymous said...

I believe that some of your resources/talents are going unspoken, at least directly so. Your ability to notice the horse crunching grain and the setting it resides in is worth so much. The fact that you can speak about that without preaching it makes that resource/talent even more remarkable. Now it is up to others to see it and take it in. You don't have to make sure they "get it".

John

Molly said...

Did you visit the horse together? Or seperately?
My Frieda sat and wept on a garden chair while I insisted on hanging up some washing this morning (the baby was asleep, the sun was out, I felt I HAD to get the washing up), but the way she clung to me when I finished and went over to hug her has made me feel like a selfish shit ever since then, and may for years to come. Sometimes I think it's so simple, why do we complicate things so?
Ah the joys ...

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

my cats keep trying to teach me resourcestærke forældre I think. Mostly, I've come to the realization that heaven can be here on earth, triit's just that we need to slow down and 'smell the horse' and 'listen to the grain crunch'