Warning...if any of you out there are thin skinned when it comes to your parenting skills (as most of us tend to be), then I apologize now.
First of all... (whenever anyone starts out with that... you know there might be a rant that follows) let me just say, I was not a perfect parent. I made my share of mistakes, still do. My most repetitious prayer was, "Lord, pick up the slack!"
There is a little known fact, parenting never... never ends. In fact, you do more of it after they leave... second little know fact, they take a chunk of your heart with them when they leave and then they divide it, when they multiply... my heart is spread out over 3 states. Let me just say, I did not know this when I started having 6 children, I was a child myself.
I might not of had so many...that was a joke.
What is not a joke today is the lack of parenting skills of so many. I have sat in my shop and witnessed parents interacting with their children and had to bite my tongue. We are raising a generation of children that think they are entitled.
I have thought long and hard about the kids today and maybe I am getting old, but I really don't think that is it. Oh, you might say my grandparents thought the same way but guess what...they didn't have the problems with their young as we do today. Yes, I know there are so many negative influences today but that is only more reason to step up our skills. If you are a parent, you are not your child's friend at least not before they become adults. And when did it become written that we need to explain for 20 minutes the reasons we say NO. I have witnessed mother's explaining to their 3 year old's the reason they could not run through my shop for 10 minutes... sorry but I do believe a 3 year old's attention span is 3 seconds. I have had mother's snap at me, for me having to tell their children not to run back and forth because I was afraid for them. Once a mother in turn informed me this was a public place... I am not going to go into details about the many confrontations I have had throughout the years in this area but I do want to say that if someone would have said something to me when I was a young mother, I would have been apologetic and mortified!
And then there is the way the kids talk to their parents... all I have to say is, if you do not teach a child respect by the time they reach your height you are going to have a long haul. Now, I am short but my son says that even today when I use a certain tone he is still afraid. He is just kidding but when they get to be teenagers all you have is bluff... because they will challenge you.
Now on a personal note, with 5 girls I can't say the hormone years were my favorite but I did enjoy them... some were a little more challenging then others. You really have to pick and choose your battles and keep a good sense of humor mixed with a lot of love. My point is teenage years are hard and they don't even know why they are acting the way they are so before all that you had better set a good foundation for them. In knowing who they are and respecting others for who they are. That comes from a heart raised in gratitude not entitlement, not in getting all that I want because everyone else has it. Expecting you to put them in every sport or taking them where ever they want to go. That should be a privilege. Children have so much pressure on them today to be competitive... come in first... be a winner... get that scholarship. If that child is grounded in love and encouraged to be the best he can be as in Col. "let everything you do, do heartily as unto the Lord", then that child will be a winner no matter what and be content in whatever life hands him. Because guess what, you will not always be first in everything. Handling life's disillusionment and using that as a stepping stone to the next challenge is what it is all about not winning.
I am sorry if I am stepping on toes but being busy every second of the day is not good... there has to be time for just family. You should bump into one another once in awhile... and the bedroom doors were not allowed to be shut for long periods of time. Yes, the kids need privacy and I allowed that but No isolation was allowed. Now you have computers, i phones, televisions, ipods ... why would any of them come out of their bedrooms??? Families need to interact.
Parents take back the power... your kids need you to be strong, loving and accountable. They are growing up much too fast, let them be kids and shove them outside to play~they don't have to have that DS everywhere they go!
I know I am on a soap box here, but someone has to say something... the parent magazines and books are so confusing today. I think parents are afraid to be firm and go by their instincts. A river without banks becomes a stinky swamp. Your children need guidance even though they rebel against it. Oh sure I would have loved to be the good guy and friend when my kids were growing up but that wasn't my job. My job was to shape and mold 6 beautiful, loving, God filled persons. My purpose was to train them for a life that wasn't always fair (in fact that word was never allowed) and to know who they were in Christ and then the world. I am proud of my children, they are loving, well rounded happy people and that is because I trusted them to my Heavenly father. I still do... pray without ceasing. My mother still spends many hours on her knees for me... I am so thankful for that. I trust God with my children, they are not my responsibility any longer, I have turned them over to Him... they are His... always were! I trust Him that is all there is.
I want to say, that my children always came first in my life and by that I mean I loved them unconditionally and would give my life for them but they were not allowed to talk back or tell me what to do. And the most important factor was the attitude... no bad attitude. If their actions were fine and their attitude wasn't they got in trouble. As a parent there were a couple of laws that were essential...
1. Always follow through with a threat and don't threat anything you weren't willing to follow through with. This one takes a lot of work, it means getting up off the couch from your favorite show and dealing with whatever is going on. Not yelling.
2. Be consistent, if you said no at one time then that means no the next time. Do not let them wear you down.
These are just some tips I found to be useful, all children are different and will challenge you a different levels, I had some that all I had to do is look at them wrong and they would crumble and then I had the defiant ones... you do not want to get into power struggles with any of them. Be smart, if you know your child you can discipline them and make it fun.
Enjoy your children they grow so fast, jump on the bed with them, laugh and love them - sometimes that also means no, because I said so.
Blessings this Sunday
PS I found this on pinterest and had to add it:
Babies Don't Keep-
Mother, O' Mother, come shake out your cloth, Empty the dustpan, poison the moth. Hang out the washing, make up the bed, Sew on a button and butter the bread. Where is the mother whose house is so shocking? She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking. Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue, Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo. Dishes are waiting and bills are past due, Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek - peekaboo. The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew, And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo. But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo. Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue? Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo. The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow, But children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow. So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep! I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep. ~ Ruth Hulbert Hamilton