Posts Tagged ‘child rearing’

March 9 Daily Verse

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

Proverbs 15:1

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Lord, in our dealings with others, especially our children, may we remember Your counsel to speak softly to them. May we speak in such a way as to teach and train in love. Our teens are quick to anger. Help us answer them calmly but with authority so that we can turn away their anger and guide them in the way You intended.

Parenthood Has It’s Drawbacks

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Parenthood has it’s drawbacks. This is something that you will start noticing almost immediately upon conception. For mom, it’s morning sickness and mood swings. For dad, it’s mom’s mood swings and her cravings. Everyone assures you that this will pass the moment that little bundle of joy is placed in your arms. They tell you the little one will be worth it all. You live for that moment. You live through the back aches, the Lamaze classes, the sleep deprivation caused by a kicking ball in your stomach (that incidentally, you thought was so cute the first time you felt it.) You live through the 4 a.m. dash to the hospital followed by several hours of contractions until the final moment the little one is placed in your arms. For some, this moment is pure joy. For others, it is a combination of wonder and fear – maybe even panic – as you realize that you are responsible for this little thing in your arms and you wonder what on earth you have done.

So you bring the little one home. You realize that you aren’t going to be sleeping the night for quite some time but everyone assures you that this sweet bundle will be worth every moment. Once home, you realize that people have glossed over the wet and dirty diapers and the smell in the house from the wet and dirty diapers. No one mentioned that you would spend the next six months to a year with spit-up on every outfit you have been wearing for more than 10 minutes. They’ve also failed to mention the panic you feel when the little one cries and you don’t know what’s wrong! You’re the parent. You should instinctively know, right? Not so. You don’t always know.

You stumble on through parenthood. As the toddler years approach, you dash around inserting child guards on electrical outlets, child locks on cupboard doors (which smash your fingers every third time you try to open the darn thing). The terrible twos arrive. As the little bundle of joy throws himself screaming and kicking on the floor, you feel the natural pull to join him. Most parents do manage to control themselves and maintain a mature demeanor, especially if others are around. Three-year-olds scream ‘I hate you!’ at least twice a day, four-year-olds are fairly human, five-year-olds know everything because their kindergarten teacher told them (You aren’t their teacher. You will never reach that lofty height.) Children continue through life causing all kinds of chaos as they go. You – the parent – have to maintain self-control while properly training this less-than-perfect human being you have brought into the world.

So, if parenthood has all these drawbacks, why on earth do we do this to ourselves? The answer is simple. Every now and then some magic occurs; the baby smiles at you for the first time, you watch them sleep and realize how beautiful they are, the little one laughs in pure delight at a new discovery, they sleepily crawl into your lap and say “I love you Mommy”. It’s at these points that you realize that others may have glossed over the downside of parenting but they were right about one thing. This little one is worth it all

Getting the Job Done

Friday, October 14th, 2011

I’m sitting here thinking of writing. The article written for the site last night just didn’t want to come. I knew what I was thinking but couldn’t make the words align in an interesting way. Ever been in that situation? Not just in writing but in any area of your life? You know what you want but you just can’t line it up. Sometimes you look at it one way. So wrong! You turn it around 180 degrees and it doesn’t add up to what you started with in the first place. The trick is trying to figure out where you went wrong. It’s a trick that sometimes looks too hard to start. I want to quit until I am reminded of the words of Marilyn vos Savant. ‘Being defeated is only a temporary condition; giving up is what makes it permanent.’ I’m still working on that article but in the meantime, I’m being reminded that I’m not that different from most every other person on this planet. We all come up against times when working through a tough project seems like an impossible task. So, I thought I would offer a few suggestions that have worked for me in the past. Hopefully, they will help you as well.

The hardest tasks to unravel are the ones with way too many components. The bedrooms of my children come to mind. I send them into their rooms every day to clean them and every day they assure me they have done it. Because I lack fortitude, I don’t check on their progress for several days. After all, if I check, I will have to insist that they do it right. Then we’ll go through the battle of ‘it’s my room. Why can’t I have it my way?’ I then go through the same spiel I went through the last time we had this conversation. Chips spilled on the floor invite bugs which will spread into the rest of the house, dirty gym socks left lying under the bed will eventually require a gas mask for anyone passing ‘your’ room; etc. Procrastination doesn’t improve the situation. Eventually, I will have to enter their room for one reason or another. That’s when I am forced to accept my role as mother and teach my offspring correct cleaning techniques. When the carpet on the
floor isn’t visible because of the books, crayons, laundry (dirty or clean?), toys, and papers, you can feel slightly overwhelmed. That feeling is only intensified by the amount of stuffed animals, dresses, shirts, and socks piled on a bed that hasn’t been made since the last time you checked. Your only hope is to take things one step at a time. For instance, the bed first. Break the bed down into it’s many components. Any dresses on the bed still on hangars can be considered clean and re-hung in the closet. All other clothing should be considered suspect and returned to the laundry basket. Stuffed animals can then be returned to their designated container. By this time, you should be able to identify food, candy wrappers, soft drink containers, etc that can be thrown into the trash. Once everything has been removed, you can replace sheets, blankets and pillowcases. One part of the room is done. Take the floor in the same manner. I like to remove the biggest things from the floor first simply because I get a clean spot faster that way. Then start removing things in categories as you did with the bed. And now you have a manageable task. This technique can be applied to any task with an overwhelming amount of work involved.

Then there is the problem of the project that requires concentration and study. You learned as a student that the best place to study was the library. Why? Because your roommates weren’t partying in the next room, the television wasn’t blaring, the radio couldn’t be heard in the next county and the phone wasn’t ringing off the hook. Hang onto that concept when you’re trying to sew a complicated Halloween outfit for your child. Or when you are trying to decorate the perfect cake for the party. Trying to do either of these chores when the kids are up is a bad plan! Wait until they’re in bed. Or, if you’re too exhausted to do anything once they’ve gone to bed, get up before they do to get the job done. The project is so much more enjoyable when you are uninterrupted.

Since you already know that I lack fortitude and tend to procrastinate, it will not come as a surprise to you that I like to put off unpleasant tasks. It is amazing how much I can accomplish while avoiding giving the dogs a bath. The beds need made, the laundry should be folded and put away, the kitchen floor needs washed, the front porch hasn’t been swept. I should probably dust the books shelves. I haven’t called a stressed out friend in a few days. I could get my house totally spit polished, my car buffed and shined, the yard and porch cleaned and on and on and on. Which wouldn’t be a bad thing except dogs are living beings for whom I have accepted responsibility. So they have to be bathed. My solution is to assign myself a day and time to do this particular task. It’s important that I inform family and others of my intentions. Otherwise, I am too willing to be distracted by other things like ‘come have lunch with me’ or ‘let’s go garage sale-ing’. Once I have stated publicly that I will be doing this job, I might have time to go to lunch or even spend a little time at garage sales but I will have to be home in time to bathe the dogs. I’m sure there is a task that you have that is equivalent to bathing the dog. So schedule it in! Short of an emergency room visit, do it as scheduled!

I’m sure others will have little techniques they use to get the job done. If so, please feel free to put in a comment for the rest of us. Thanks!