Good morning Monday Motivation fans! How’s it going? We had a quiet week at home last week. Phoebe’s chicken pox was a happily brief occurrence and she was back in school by Thursday which was a relief! Most of my blog posts (apologies that these have been thin on the ground over the past few weeks) and particularly these Monday Motivation posts are prompted by conversations we have had as a family and things that have got me thinking and have stuck in my head. In a loud and energetic family like ours it can often be difficult to get your point across! This weekend we had an interesting discussion about following the rules and about being different which motivated me to think about being a flamingo in a flock of pigeons.
On Saturday I was called a ‘goody goody’ because I like to follow the rules and do as I’m told. The particular instance that this happened was in a car parking situation! If there is a car park attendant at an event I will always park where they tell me, whereas Andrew is more of a maverick and will park where he wants to. This sparked a discussion about being different and standing out from the crowd. Archie very rightly said that all successful people made sure they were different and stood out from the crowd. That you can’t be successful without being different.
I’m all for being different, in fact I’ve never been one to go along with everyone else whether that be with regards to fashion, hobbies, career or family. I do the things that I want to do, that are best for me and my family and that make me happy. Having said that, I don’t go out of my way to stand out in a crowd. I don’t dress in a mad way or do controversial things and I don’t make it my purpose in life to be different. So am I different enough to be successful? Am I being too much part of the crowd to be noticed? Do I need to be more controversial? I think, because of the way I have been brought up, I am happy to stand out when I need to but it would always need to be for the right reasons.
So now is when we come to the issue of ‘the rules’. I have never been a rule breaker. I never had a detention at school and I’ve always done as I was told. I will always stand up for what I think is right but am definitely a stickler for the rules. Andrew is definitely more of a maverick and will ignore the rules from time to time but I would definitely say he is no flamingo – he would much rather blend in and go unnoticed! Archie was under the impression that to be a flamingo and to stand out from the crowd you need to break the rules and I tried my best to explain that we can happily stand out, be different and be successful whilst still following the rules and doing the right things.
Am I right or is it essential to be a maverick? Should I be flouting the rules and doing whatever I want and to hell with everyone else or am I right to be a ‘goody goody’? As parents I think it is our job to teach our children that it’s right to follow the rules, I don’t think I should be knowingly telling the children to ignore rules and do whatever they want, although I know there are parents that would disagree, but are there times when the lines are blurred? Are there times when it’s ok to stray from the right path, to tell a white lie, to ignore the rules? Being a parent is a tough job but when it comes to things like this it can be even tougher! If I don’t know what the right answer is then how am I supposed to teach it to my children? If one parent is a ‘goody goody’ and one is a ‘maverick’ how do the children know which is the right path to follow? I guess, as with many things in parenthood, we have to hope our children make the right decision for themselves. As long as we give them all the information then their own personality will help them decide which one they want to be. I just hope my flamingos don’t break too many rules along the way!
Until next time…