Wait until you become a parent, then you’ll see….(pt2)..
I became a mother about 2 weeks ago. I adopted a chocolate Labrador. He’s 3 months old, and running my blood pressure and temper out of this world. Before I adopted him, I will admit that I did do research about raising a puppy, but I also must admit that it was more of glancing, rather than informing myself. One thing that has stuck me thru this, is the advice of ignoring his bad behavior and acknowledging his good behavior. Ignoring his bad behavior is suppose to cause him to lose interest in continuing it…The last few days I have to wonder.
As a kid, I noticed that anything I did that was ‘out of line’ my parents always noticed. Same with my peers, which set me up for relentless, although funny when I did something weird, teasing. This acknowledgement left me with an insecure sense of relating to the world about what is okay about me. Granted I am not confused about what was actually ‘bad behavior’, like staying out pass curfew,etc. but characteristic that rubbed my parents wrong and that caught their ire created moments of confusion.
As I embark on this journey of raising another life, even thought it is a dog, I wonder how much of the natural characteristics of my loved one, will I be temped to suppress because I see them as ‘bad’. What is authentically ‘bad’ vs. my point of view ‘bad’? Should he possess some characteristic and act upon it that doesn’t suit my personality will I be constantly at battle with trying to reform him to meet and suit my needs? And how do you identify what is naturally his and learned behavior?
I assume that this probably crosses a lot of parents’ minds when they are raising their children. Not only does having children have you go back on a journey of your own childhood and reflect or flinch on it, it can make you see how far you have come as a person. It touches upon parts of your soul that make you say, ‘did I become the person I had promised/hope/wished to be? Or makes you see that you have traits that your parents possessed that you either love or hate. I see what it takes is a certain amount of courage to continue on this journey, being responsible for another life. Courage to face yourself when you must be a leader in times when we question what we may possess ourselves. Courage to face each day with hope from some unseen source that we have no idea where it came from, cause the night before you may have been ready to call DCFS.
Ignoring Chocky’s bad behavior has produced little results and I have lost my temper twice, lashing out at him. He has always forgiven me with a wag of the tail and excitement in him when I come home. Yet, I haven’t given up because I have given my word to someone that I would be in his life for his entire life. While I have much support around me in raising him, I realize eventually that it’s not his ‘bad’ behavior I will have to ignore, but my facing my fears that I don’t have what it takes to be a great parent.