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Embracing Life’s Grey: 5 New Perspectives on Boundaries in Your Life

Posted Mar 14 2009 3:15pm

I have never heard anyone say that their favorite color is grey, but I think it is the most important color in parenting.

Life Strives for Black and White

Everyone always wants clearly defined boundaries, roles and definitions.  As authors we try to define the specific roles, doctors define strict symptoms, magazines give us five kinds of men, Sex and the City gave us four kinds of women.

But there is no Black and White

There are no real life Samantha’s, in medicine there are always blurred symptoms, and as hard as we try, someone is always going to say they are dating a rock mixed with a teddy bear.

And Then There is Grey

When the black bleeds into the white, or the white rubs off on the black we get grey.  Some say bleak, watered down, not specific, unexciting, but grey is easy to match.  In fact it can do with everything, better than black because it doesn’t show dandruff.

Black and White Are a lot of Pressure

Aren’t you so nervous when you are wearing white pants? How about when you have to pull a tight black shirt on over your newly deodorized pits…a challenge to say the least.  We are not only talking about colors here.  Having to keep specific, defined and unchanging roles in any part of life is nearly impossible!

Your Black is My White

We also have to think about the way others feel about our defined rules, roles and boundaries.  What you or I think is good, might be bad to someone else and this needs to be OK.  Often times, we get frustrated by the fact that ideas are perceived differently without actually thinking about the fact that we might be coming from different backgrounds and perspectives.
Understanding the Grey in Parenting

I often see parents trying to teach and raise kids in black and white.  YouTube is bad, Encyclopedia Britannica is good.  Yet, this is not always true.  There are some great things on YouTube and some inappropriate articles on Encyclopedia Britannica for younger kids.  And kids need to learn to understand the nuances of grey.  I think trying to teach kids in black and white does not serve them in the long run because they need to figure out their own grey scale of what is right, wrong, best for them and better for others.

1) Talk to them about this idea.  I think kids also need to understand that there is not always clear answers to things.  Kids often feel that their parents always know the right answer because theyhave never heard their parents voice their doubt.

2) When you are confused tell them.  They need to hear about your vulnerability so that when they feel scared or uncomfortable they know it is normal.

3) Tell them how you overcame it.  Show them how you figured out your own grey scale and set of what is wrong and right for you so they can see those skils.

4) Explain that everyone’s grey scale is different.  What is right or wrong for their friends, might not be right for them and this is ok!
I hope this article about life’s grey resonates with some of my readers and the metaphors for color make sense for life.

Would welcome additional comments!

Vanessa

Post from: Radical Parenting

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