Wednesday, May 19, 2010

An Update and some thoughts on parenting

Just wanted to update on how things have been going around here since I've implemented our new "Toys for Misbehavior" policy. It has been so peaceful around here. They seem to get it. I've also talked to them about how Rob and I try to do as much as we can for them. We give them most of our free time. Don't get me wrong we enjoy most of it but honestly some things slip through the cracks that I should/could be doing such as keeping up with things around the house. We don't really ask a lot of them. My main things are could you please put away your own clean clothes and throw away the garbage in your rooms. That pretty much covers it. We do expect them to help out with things such as care for the pets, taking out the garbage, getting the table ready for dinner etc.

They understand that we are not going to raise "brats". We see too many parents that don't want their kids mad at them or the kids seem to run the house. We won't have it. Kids who don't have responsibilites or are mouthy to their parents are not respectful to each other nor to other adults in their lives. Kids need to be taught to think about other people in their lives and not just expect things. I recently explained to Megan about the time it takes to make sure her uniform are clean, schedule our lives around their games and practices and take OUR free time to bring them. She listened carefully and then I asked her what she was thinking. She told me how much she appreciated our time. I don't think she had ever thought that maybe there were other things in life that I'd like to spend my time doing but that I CHOOSE to dedicate my time to my children.

That's what my idea of being a mom is about. People talk about choice... Choose Life, Pro Choice... but having a child is so much more than that. Choosing to be a mother is an everyday choice. Every decision I make is based out of that central part of my life. I know that there are parents that seem to make choices based on what's best for THEM. Some parents seem so disconnected from their role of parent. That somehow parenthood is some part time thing to them. They leave parenting to others who have to pick up the pieces of the childhoods they've shattered. Some don't seem to let parenthood effect them at all. They have left their children to their own devices to raise themselves. Some parents seem to be living their childhoods through their children. Maybe they didn't have a great childhood and are trying to make sure their kids get everything they thought they should have had. That can go too far though when kids become in charge. It's not healthy for kids to think they can push their parents around... or whine enough, pout enough or manipulate enough to get their own way. What a big disappointment adulthood will be when all these kids grow up and ALL think they can get their OWN way... that's not how the real world works. People need to think about how their actions effect others... how to put their own needs aside and put someone else first. Children are supposed to observe this in their parents. Selfish, selfcentered parents raise selfish, self centered children. The exception is if another adult comes into the child's life and models for  the child respect, honor and trustworthiness.  I want to be that person in my children's lives. I want them to be able to look to Rob and I as the example of someone they can trust and look up to not someone they are always trying to get their own way with. I tell my children that God has given them to me for this time to teach them. There will come a time in their life when they will not be under my rules and they will be making choices on their own. As children and as they grow into young adults it is my job to lead them and their job to follow me. As adults, my hope is for them to follow God's will for them. I think they know how very much we love them and want them to be honorable and true to the best parts of themselves. This parenting thing is not easy. Time seems to go by WAY to FAST. It is so precious to have these children to raise up. I am starting to catch a glimpse of life as they all move on with their lives. This is THEIR childhood. A time of sweet memories and hopefully a strong foundation for them to build upon as they go on into adulthood.

Our precious family.

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