Well, the rubber has met the road friends…
My children have finally hit…..the “AGE OF REMEMBRANCE”
Meaning, that they will start remembering and recalling the parenting mistakes and mishaps that will occur within the not-so-thick walls of our home.
I have resigned to this fact…that unfortunate events WILL occur THEY must. I am human. My husband is human.
The last year I realized that I can do small things to prevent too many melt downs in our home. I am talking simple things like eating lunch…. because no one likes a “h-angry” Mom. (h-angry… anger derived from deep hunger pangs)
|Aren’t those the cutest faces you’ve ever seen?|
Do you remember when your parents or youth minister used to tell you to always have “dating guidelines” in place before you get into a “hot-and-heavy-oh-so-steamy” situation with your boyfriend… to prevent any irreversible decisions to be made? (If your answer is “I have no idea what you are talking about”… then you were probably cooler than I was in high school…high five!) WELLL from the looks of things thus far in my parenting journey I have figured out that I am going to be trudging through some pretty “hot-and-heavy-oh-so-steamy” situations as a Mother that will lead me to make some potentially “irreversible experiences” for my children. Because I am a “PLANNER” and I have my “act together” in every area of my life (<--bahaha) I have set 3 “guidelines” in place for our home. 3 “troubleshooting” questions that I ask myself when making important parenting decisions so that I don’t fall into my PARENTING PITFALL. Now. Before you read on, you must assume that these questions are asked AFTER I consider the safety and well-being of my children.
1: AM I PARENTING OUT OF FEAR??
Daxx came home from school a few weeks ago saying “hot babes”. Let me use it in context for you…
Me: Hey!! How was your day?
Daxx: (Sweaty and out of breath from being at recess before carpool) “Mom, Nelson and I saved some hot babes on the playground today”
HOT BABES? I was stopped in my tracks because out of the mouth of my FIVE year old boy came “hot babe”?!? Immediately, I projected him into situations that I should not have which then made me rabbit trail to pulling him from school, never allowing him to see his friend Nelson again and homeschooling him in a dimly lit room with no windows or electricity until he is 32.
Well, maybe that was a little extreme, but you understand…. sometimes FEAR can cause us to make DRASTIC parenting decisions that have no base to stand on. Instead of refusing him the right to play with his friend on the playground, we had a conversation about what a “hot babe” is. We dialoged about the WHYs and the WHY NOTs of calling people certain things and I CHOSE to approach the situation without fear.
Now. Obviously this is a minor example of a MAJOR problem we mothers face. Fear is the number ONE problem that both men and women encounter when parenting… fear of the future, fear that I will hurt their feelings, fear of my child exploding, fear of making my family mad, fear of looking like an idiot, fear of failing…. Fear can cause us to skew our parenting in so many ways, but instead we must parent with CONFIDENCE.
- AM I BEING RATIONAL AND REALISTIC? To counteract my tendency to parent based on my fears, I ask myself the opposite question… Am I being rational and realistic with this parenting choice?
2: AM I PARENTING BASED ON EMOTION??
When we see our children upset and emotional we often counter them in an emotional state. If they are angry or enraged, we can easily respond with the same tone… well I can. If they are hurt, we feel the hurt deep within us as well. We carry the burden that they have had hurled on their shoulders, whether is be a bully at school or difficulty with math, we want to TAKE.IT.AWAY. for them. This is natural, but not always healthy.
At times we can see our children emotional and make irrational decisions because we react emotionally. A small example of this is when my child decides to have a melt down in public. Nothing makes me more enraged than the absolute loss of control as a parent when your child is contorting themselves in the aisles of a public place or the booth of your favorite restaurant. Typically, I will respond by saying something like “you will sit on your bed for a WEEK if you don’t stop…” which is not a threat I can keep. Unfortunately, though my emotions carry my away into nowhereville where nothing I say or do will help the situation, but instead it makes me look like a fool and it takes away the authority I have when I say things that are untrue and I cannot follow through with.
- DO NOT ENCOUNTER AN EMOTIONAL SITUATION WITH EMOTION. When I am tempted to give into my emotions I must be intentional in staying calm, speaking calmly and slowly, whether it is my child, my spouse, or the person causing the turmoil.
3: IS MY PARENTING GUIDED BY SOCIAL PRESSURE??
I have noticed major parenting trends over the past 6 years that I have been a parent. Those of you who have been parents or grandparents longer than I have been alive are shaking your head at my inexperience, but thats OK, you have EARNED that right, ha!! 🙂 Starting in the delivery room we are encountered with polarizing parenting choices… “epidural or no epidural”. The comes “breastfeeding or bottle feeding”, then you take your child home and “do you co-sleep or put them in a crib”?… Typing all of this makes me want to vomit because I REMEMBER, all to vividly, the brutal initiation to the “teams” of motherhood.
PLEASE… learn QUICKLY to do what is best for YOU and for your CHILD because the conversation continues… “do you homeschool or public school”, “do you play football or basket ball”, “do you eat organic or secretly enjoy McDonalds”…. bahhhhh…
- CONSIDER ONLY THE WELL BEING OF MY FAMILY. We must block out all other influences when making decisions about school, church, sports, summer camps… and we must ONLY consider the health and wellbeing of our immediate family because those are the only people you are accountable to and responsible for.
First off, If you struggle with any of these three areas, I am right there with you. The reason I have identified the ones I have, is only because they are the areas I struggle with. If none of these points hit home with you, high five!… but please take a second to identify the parenting traps that are stumbling blocks in your life because in the moment of anxiety or anger, the parenting crutches we uses are most likely not the healthy ones.
Please share with me what YOU do to prevent falling into parenting traps, I am always in search of fresh ideas as my children grow and my role as a parent evolves.
Thanks for reading friends!