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Confessions from a Lumper

Updated: Jun 25, 2021

(Reading time less than 2 minutes.)


Hello. My name is Cheryl, and I am a lumper.


This is one of the mistakes I know I have made.

Yes, I freely admit that I am a recovering lumper.



And, as I talk with many of you and hear your questions, both in person and at Parenting Q&A’s, I think that most of you might be lumpers, too.

I am not talking about a style of house cleaning or organization.


No, something infinitely more important.


Our children's souls.

Many of us find it difficult to keep separate, individual, isolated choices and behavior -separate, individual, and isolated. Instead, we lump them all together into lifelong patterns or deep character flaws.


You see, when we start lumping our child’s individual behaviors together, everything gets thrown out of proportion. When we lump, we confuse what our child does with who our child is.

When we lump, we confuse what our child does with who our child is.

For example, let’s say your 8-year-old son tells a lie.

This is an issue we don't want to ignore, and it is definitely worth your attention. However, when we operate as a lumper, suddenly you may find yourself concluding that your child may be an incurable liar. You might begin to envision him condemned to a lifelong devastating pattern of deception.


But the reality is, it was one lie or maybe a pattern of lying. But when we lump, we assign roles for that behavior. Instead of dealing with lying in an appropriate way, our child moves from an action to a role, the character of their soul. Not "They lied." but "They are a liar!" Whether we always say it out loud or not.


The more we lump, the worse it gets. We get overwhelmed and respond from our emotions and we may start expanding the issue to many facets of our child's self or from one child to all our children.

Or ourselves. It’s easy for lumpers to get extremely disheartened and discouraged. “What did I do wrong to create such a liar? Have I been a role model for him because he sees such deceit in me?” We are sure that we have failed miserably as mothers.


But listen here, mom! You are now lumping your own character and soul with the conduct and choices of your child. Not only is lumping inaccurate, it's unfair to everyone involved.

When we deal with behavior in an appropriate way, our child moves from an action to a role, the character of their soul. Not "They lied." but "They are a liar!"

If we want to be wise moms we should seek to parent our children and relate to each child one on one, event by event. It is not a group experience but individual for each person, each time.


Ready to stop lumping?

Here are 4 things to remember:


1. Respond don’t react.

2. Deal with each single occurrence as a single occurrence. (Because it is!)

3. Do not involve your other children emotionally, mentally, or verbally.

4. Remember we are all broken and a mess and be thankful that this incident may have brought an issue of the heart to the surface and to the light so we could work on it and better and more clearly love this specific child, this specific time and protect their soul.



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