Build a taller fence

This is easier on the one doing the protecting… or is it? We just had our 2 year old twin girls escape their cribs for the first time. They did it five times during a supposed nap and snuck down the hall to look at us. My initial response was, “could I drill new holes in the cribs so I could lower their mattresses one more level?” That would hold them a bit longer. At first this sounds like an easy solution – one that’s not so confrontational and extends the period of their containment for just a little bit longer. But the grand scheme, long term picture here begs the question: is this really easier? Or would it just be better to address the problem and teach them how to use their newly discovered power? Because everyone knows that it’s easier to direct a channel of water than create a dam. Far more productive and beneficial to connect with others and strengthen relationships than just build a taller fence. One takes courage and effort while the other merely extends control for a little bit longer. But at what cost? It’s far less expensive (financial, emotional, physical, etc) to engage the situation and the person than push it off to tomorrow. A little more control today does not always translate in a more peaceful tomorrow. Because now the precedent has been set and the cycle begins. I think we all know deep down that the better response is always – always – the more human response. We have to make the effort to enagage the strength of others and affirm their power. Then we will earn the right to collectively figure out where we go from here… and we’ve demonstrated that from now on we are with them, not against them.

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