mom, who despite what pain and suffering had happened in
this relationship, she loved and idolized. I imagined her settling
in with Grandma in a cold and distant place. She offered words
of hope: “I will be back by 4th grade.” That was not how this
story unfolded.
As I interact with strangers and those I barely know,
the lesson is to offer grace and mercy to each one that crosses
my path. I wonder what led that lady to yell hurtful words to
my friend in the grocery store? She certainly wasn’t mindful of
the backstories of others. And what about the lady in front of
the library? What life experience led her to interject herself into
my family on that day? And how about precious Danielle? I bet
my heart would break over the details of her backstory. We just
never know.
During the years that I worked so hard to transform
my parenting paradigm, Becky Bailey’s Conscious Discipline
introduced me to so many new and useful ideas. Among them
was the idea of “positive intent.” Loosely paraphrased, this
means assuming the best intentions of others. Theoretically,
this makes sense to many of us, but in practical everyday living
and parenting, it can be downright difficult to practice. Rather
than approaching our children or anyone else we interact with
as “pushing my button,” “just trying to irritate me,” or “out to
get me,” we can choose to see it differently. As Bailey points
out, we really don’t have a clue what is going on inside of
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