Duck Duck Goose!

Do you remember playing this game – Duck Duck Goose! – as you tapped someone on the head and they jumped up to run around the seated circle of kids while you ran to get to your spot before they tagged you? Or is that one of those Gen X games that nobody remembers playing?

I was thinking last night about how as Gen X’ers we had different rules than nowadays. I know that I parent differently than my own parents did me, even though there are similarities. Often I’m reminded of how life was different back then. My childhood wasn’t really a walk in the park with an overbearing father and a traditional mostly stay-at-home mother who between them had secrets. But what legacy they gave me was this: RESILIENCE.

Fall off of your bike? You had to get back on. Learn to swim? I was tossed into the pool. Overcome fear of the ocean? Dragged in and left there to battle the waves, alone, while he watched from the shoreline.

Face the fear and do it anyway. Or be tossed in to face the fear and survive. Does any of this feel similar to your childhood? And if you’re a parent now, do you do the same that was done to you? Or did you soften it or not push your kids at all?

I don’t push my kids as I was pushed in the same manner. However, I will make them ‘get back up on the horse’ when they have fallen off and are afraid to ride. It’s that inner Knowing that they can do it, they just have to face the fear and they will realize that they can do it again. But I am a big believer in not letting fear after something happens keep them from enjoying something.

Example: One kid had a car accident. Hit almost head on. Car was totaled, but luckily neither was hurt. The accident took place near our home on a highway we frequently drive. Two days after the accident, I asked him to take me somewhere in my car. He didn’t want to do it, but I insisted. I had already driven him past the intersection a few times when he was safely a passenger. When he drove my car, I was the passenger. I watched his hands clench on the steering wheel, but he did it. We repeated it a few times until he thought he was more comfortable and then he drove it alone in the car. He was very unhappy with my parenting at the time, but it has made him stronger and I stand by my technique.

Do you have any examples? What do you think about RESILIENCE?

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10 Responses to Duck Duck Goose!

  1. TJ Fox says:

    Honestly? I could do without some of that resilience. Yes, being able to get back up or to face your fears can be good, but sometimes you just need to learn that it is okay to shift gears and do something different. Or that sometimes, the hard part IS the shifting of gears to do something different and that is where your energy needs to be applied. While I try to teach my kids responsibility for their commitments and sticking with what they start, there are just times that doing so can be a bigger problem than just moving on to something else that may be better for them in the long run. My kids have done an awesome job of forcing me to change how I look at the world, mostly because they are seeing it in a different, more open context than I was ever given, so I have attempted to teach them those things I see as important, but in a way that still fits their context.


    • janieleeds says:

      TJ, thank you for sharing. You are a great Mom and kind friend with much wisdom. I agree that teaching while fitting their context is the better road to travel considering all we’ve learned.

      I guess I am still a work in progress, even though I couldn’t let him not drive anymore because that was giving him more anxiety. I try not to parent the way I was and I’m definitely better than my parents, but not yet where I want to be. And it’s really over, whatever damage I’ve done is already there with my kids. But they continue to work through things with me now and we talk about my ‘mistakes’ in their childhood. Some I agree with and others, well, I’m just very sorry for and I hope they forgive me.

      I love that your kids have taught you to change the way you look at the world. Mine have begun doing that too for which I’m grateful.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. LA says:

    You know I’m a resilience person…if I taught my daughter one lesson it was to be resilient


  3. Ainsobriety says:

    It is a fine balance.
    I often wish my parents had been supportively pushy, like you. Had they held my hand when I was scared, maybe I could have petted the dog, etc.
    Instead I got a lot of you are so difficult and stomping away. So I never did many things I longed to, but was anxious of.

    I try to do what you did. Small steps. Gentle exposure. My eldest goes with it. My youngest, she has severe sensory anxiety disorder. It mean moving so slowly…it has taken her years to be more independent, but she is!
    People often told me I enabled her, but they didn’t see her cowering in a corner shaking in terror. I did. I know love and compassion, with a bit of soft pushing, is the answer.

    As for me…I have realized it’s up to me to get myself going. When I realize my fear is more immediate and then fades, I take extra time for new things. I have surprised myself.

    Hugs to your son. That would be scary, but driving is such freedom!



    • janieleeds says:

      Anne, thank you so much for sharing your stories. I am so sad about your childhood experiences as to hear that ‘you are so difficult’ and them stomping away helps nobody and for that, I”m sending a huge hug…thank God you were able to get yourself going and to help your children along the way. We know our kids and taking the extra time is often helpful. Good for you. What a great Mom you are!
      Hugs to you, to your family and to your wisdom. I appreciate your sharing.💗

      Liked by 1 person

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