A post about a quote from my book, The Peacemaker Parent . . .
“I guess a good gardener always starts as a good weeder.” —Amos Pettingill
Garden analogies are useful to paint many pictures, so in Chapter 6, Setting Up The Peacemaker Program, I use one to illustrate the ways in which the growth of a child requires an evolution in the parent/child relationship. Of particular importance are the starting conditions; everything begins with the existing soil into which seeds are planted.
Starting Fresh vs. Fixing
Starting a new relationship, or changing an existing one, is like planning the transformation of a plot land. In some respects, it can seem easier to start fresh with a whole new relationship―like starting with a patch of untended soil that doesn’t require clean up. Starting with an existing relationship, much like a gardener, you may need to undo some things first and that can look like so much more work. Thankfully, it usually isn’t.
Changing an existing relationship means the hardest part is already done. You’ve already created the loving foundation, all you need do is to strip away the weeds (negative things) replacing them new seeds of respect and trust. It often seems a big job, though, because we tend to see each dysfunctional weed as a separate issue to be dealt with in consecutive order. But in reality, everything is connected. And when you work on producing a positive change in one area, you’ll see how the improvement reflects itself in the other things that need to be changed, too.
Everything’s Coming Up Roses
Untended soil would need to be fertilized and readied for planting―and takes a long time and it’s hard work! By contrast, your existing garden has already been prepped. Now start pulling weeds to plant some seeds.
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What do you think? Is changing a relationship harder than I’ve portrayed? Will some changes require almost a return to the very beginning?