Thursday, May 10, 2012

a little lost, but only for a moment

Where is my parenting instructional manual?  I seemed to have misplaced it just as I do everything else.  I forgot where I left it and I really need it these days.  I forget a lot of stuff.

Oh, wait, I just remembered, they don't give those out.

You can read books and some help but one book will not apply to all children because each child is different.

Then when you think you have them figured out, they go and change.  Turn things upside down.  These little people we love so much will one day grow up and I just hope they acquire all the good things I taught them.

And not only what I taught them but they even watch what you are doing.  They will do as you do, say as you say, so watch out.

Some people will even judge, comment, add their two sense about how one is doing as a parent or what one should be doing.  As if this job wasn't hard enough already, you get to hear from others how you could be doing it better.

I've been told I better get strict because they are going to walk all over me.  I've been told spanking works wonders.  I've been told I'm too nice.  I've been told a lot of things.

Here's a little story from someone with some wise advise about getting tough: "My husband and his son were in a grocery store and his son wanted something he couldn't have, so he called my husband a name.  Well, my husband hit him, right there in the store, and made his lip bleed." "How old was the boy?" I asked.  "He was four.  But I'll tell you what, he never did that again."

Um, yeah cause he smacked him into submission.

Of course, kids shouldn't talk back, but how about a better way of approaching them about it.

I've tried spanking, not hard, but a good spank on the bum, and so far, hasn't worked for me.  I see them resorting to it.  Angus does a minor infraction, Jonas says, "Spank him, mom."  Angus sees a character in a book make a mess and he says, "You need to give him a spanking."  Angus will sometimes try to hit little P-lo or Jonas hits Angus.  So, spanking is out the window for me!

Time outs work for Angus, taking things away works for Jonas.  Sometimes a good stern NO works.  Not wavering on the decisions I make works.  Sometimes I just have to explain and that works.  Sometimes they cry and cry after they don't get what they want and that's okay, too, because they didn't get their way.

I thought what I was doing was fine.  My kids listen, they respect others, they most of the time do as they are told.  Sure, sometimes it takes some repeating of commands, but they do it.  Yeah, they are wild at times, what child isn't.  Sometimes they drive mama crazy, but I know they are not going to be little obedient robots that have to listen the exact instant they are told to do something, all of the time.

They are good kids.  I am proud about how they behave, who they are as people in this world and I value their opinions and feelings.

And maybe, I am too nice.  I was doing fine until people started filling my brain with insecurities about the way I parent.  I listened to others and my children started acting differently.

I know them better than anyone, so here's to following my way.   And hey, I don't mind advice.  I love advice, gaining as much knowledge about this job is something I seek, but please don't judge me or my parenting style.  I am trying to do the best that I can every single day.


1 comment:

  1. You go Mama! I like how you know that not just one way of discipling (even the same child) works for every situation. Your kids are respectful and I do find that they have listened to me. And even when Jonas hasn't, you tell me that later he said he was sorry for the way he acted. To me, that means he is internalizing right and wrong rather than just being controlled by fear of punishment. He actually thought about his behavior and showed empathy for others. I worked with kids who only made right choices because of external controls and it is hard to change at 15-16 years old. You are doing the right thing mama! So when someone tries to tell you that you are doing it wrong, smile and nod and be glad that God gives you the grace to do what is right for YOUR kids!

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