Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day/Joys of Parenting

Mother's Day has come and gone, but I am setting here thinking about what it is to be a mom.  My boys put together a video for me for Mother's Day, and it was very sweet.  I have some sweet boys and I am very thankful for each of them.  It amazes me how different they are from each other.  It is fun, yet challenging to be a parent. Because they are all so different from each other, disciplining them may look different for each child.  This is something I would never dream to be true before kids.  I have also learned that you should NEVER point out, or even think in your own head...."my child would NEVER do that".  I would be willing to promise you, that if you point it out, it WILL happen to you.  I am not sure why that is, but God must have a sense of humor in that area.  I remember thinking, as I saw a screaming child in a store..."if that were MY child, he/she would not be acting like that."  Ummmm...well, it has happened and let me tell you, there is just no great way to handle it.  If y5ou ignore them, and people look at you like, are you going to handle this?  You can't say, "I'll spank you if you don't stop." because people will threaten to turn you in to DHS.

I was in Bass Pro one day with the whole family when we had a meltdown with one of our kids.  Finally, after threatening, taking to the bathroom and swatting, bribing, you name it, we just decided to leave.  Dennis had the screaming child and I was trailing behind him.  As we passed the cashiers in the front of the store, I heard them saying, "I wish they would take care of that screaming kid!" I now have a new compassion for parents in public.  It is tough.  I do not judge a parent anymore, because everything I have judged in the past, has come about in my experience of parenting.  I have to say, I am SCARED to judge.  I am far from perfect and am always learning.  Until you have been there, you cannot tell anyone else how to handle their child.  Hunter, my oldest, was fairly easy....a swat did the job.  Holden, on the other hand, would look at me after a swat, and say, "that didn't hurt"...but to make him look you in the eye as you talked about the consequence of his action, just killed him.  Hayden, wow, I haven't figured out the right discipline for him.  He is my challenge.  He is the one who embarrasses me every time in public.  He is the one who is getting me back for every judgemental thought I have ever had about parenting. Hudson, thank goodness, is a pretty easy going kid, so I can talk to him and he does pretty far.

Parenting also has it's rewards.  It is not ALL disciplining.  It is fun to see them grow and find out what their gifting is.  The difficult part of this aspect is the fine line of pushing what I see would be good for them to do and letting them explore their own options.  I have learned that all I can do it provide opportunities for them, I can not make them like anything.  Once they find their thing, I hope that I can encourage them to pursue it to the best of their ability.

The biggest responsibility I feel is raising them to trust and believe in God.  I know that we are all looking for God and I hope that I can raise them with the foundations that I had.  I still had to come to the conclusion, on my own, about my beliefs but I know that the foundation my parents set for me as a child, was crucial.  So, I do not take this lightly.  I am not forcing denominational beliefs, but I am helping them to see, through our experience together, how God is real and how He has loved and taken care of us.  I don't run at the questions they have, but invite them.  I want them to know and believe for themselves. 

I know that parenting is a very touchy subject because our experiences and children are all very different.  But, with God's help, as well as being open for creative ideas, it can be rewarding.  I have read many parenting books and am always searching for creative ideas on how to be a better parent.  There is one book in particular that I have gleaned ideas from, called Creative Correction by Lisa Welchel.  Also, Bringing up Boys by Dr. James Dobson.  There really are so many books out there on the subject.  If you have any suggestions please share!!

Happy Parenting!!!


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