Would you believe me if I told you that my mom was a Tom boy when she was young?  Most of you, who know her, are probably scratching your heads wondering if we’re talking about the same person. It true. It’s truer than true.

First of all, she loved fishing with her daddy.   She would grab the fishing poles and beg him to take her. It didn’t take much convincing on his part since he loved spending time with her. She would even bait the hooks and remove the fish. I think the only think she wouldn’t do was clean fish.

She loved the outdoors. Climbing trees. Running and frolicking about.

She also loved the encyclopedia. It was her best friend because she loved to hunt animals. My grandmother said it always concerned her to come home and see the encyclopedia open, lying on the ground.  she never knew what my Mom would bring home

One time she went hunting for field mice. She found a mouse. Brought it home. Played with it. Freaked my grandmother out.  Then she told her to get rid of the mouse because they needed to get ready for Wednesday night church.

During the church service Mom was sitting a row or two in front of my grandmother with her friends.  My grandmother noticed the other girls were wiggly and squirmy. Her words to me, “There was my little Annie sitting quiet and still. I was so proud of her.”

When church was over, she discovered that “her little Annie” had taken the mouse to church, in the pocket of her sweater. She was sitting between several girls so she could take the mouse out of her pocket.  Stick it out in front of the girls causing a raucous among them and making her look like a little angel.

It embarrassed my grandmother to think that my Mom had caused such a scene in church.

The truth is, as parents, we all get embarrassed by our children’s behavior.  One minute we can have the proud parent moment and the next they let us down   It’s how we respond that will make the biggest difference in their lives

Do you say things like, “I can’t believe you did this!  Do you realize how bad this looks on me   What are people going to say about me and what kind of parent I am?”

Or do you say, “I’m really surprised by your behavior and it saddens me.  I love you, in spite of what you’ve done.”

One response makes it about us and puts all the responsibility of the choice back on them.

You can’t make their behavior or poor choices about you. It’s not. It’s about them.  It’s extremely freeing, as a parent, when you realize thi

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