Fortunately, raising a child is not an exact science. There is a built-in forgiveness factor and hence some room for flexibility. Make more time for your children, especially as they get older. Take frequent looks at your family and its life together. Ask whether you meet your own standards of civility, of morals, of spirituality. Finally, protect your children from losing their childhood prematurely – neither you nor they will regret it.
This quote came to me at an opportune time – just on the heels of a child meltdown I blame on too much sun, swim, lack of rest, lack of preparation, lack of calm and needed introspection, somehow a symbolic moment of the beginnings of summer un-scheduling.
The forgiveness, flexibility, and frequent looks at family speak to me most deeply. One needs to forgive and clean slates that are sullied by weariness, sharp words and looks, squabbles, physical or emotional pain. We must provide routine and structure that allow for flexibility and freedom to address the needs at hand. Flexibility is so tricky; when do we pick our battles? Our hearts tell us, our instincts tell us, but our emotions and fears take hold and often put us in battle mode. Yet frequent looks at our families particularly through the peaceful times will guide us, soothe us, and inform our choices on what is and is not working. An overhaul of bedtimes or mealtimes might be needed.
It is time to protect our own inner children. I feel blessed that I have retained so much of what I treasure about my childhood – my ability to imagine, how I can completely disappear into a landscape of a beloved story, the acting skills honed with reading character voices aloud, using music, lighting, food, and my environment to capture or transform the mood of my home or just my day. I want to preserve and embrace that in my children and offer them a mother that forgives, models strength and flexibility, and frequently focuses on her family so she knows what they need and she needs to promote peace, harmony, and growth.
i am on a journey toward clarity and purpose in life…parenting, volunteering, teaching & sharing with others, marriage, home. i wonder what my path will be? i certainly look forward to sharing the books and music that touch my soul, recipes i experiment with, and general musings on so much. now how to focus and hone my musings…
i would love to hear from all of you: how do you find clarity and purpose in a time of busyness and the zombie-like feelings of the regularly overwhelmed?
By Carrie at theparentingpassageway.com
So, for today:
Today, I will not be passive aggressive. I will say what I need, and I will stand there and help my child follow through with what I asked or I will not ask at all. If it is not important enough to help my child follow through, then it is not important enough to ask.
Today, I will not yell or rage at my child. He is just a child and I am the adult. I am the only parent this child has and I will act like I have learned something in all my years of living and dealing with others.
Today, I will not perceive boundaries as being “bad”. If I have a distaste in my mouth for “authority” and “the man”, I will remind myself that I am helping my child learn to function in the world and that discipline is an authentic leadership that guides out of love.
Today, I will remember to help my child express their needs – and also help them understand that not all their wants are needs.
Today, I will help my older children see that they can make choices.
Today, I will not put my children in the position of making decisions which they really are not mature enough to make. I am the parent, and I help guide things.
Today, I will help my older children develop self-control by not robbing them of anticipation of something.
Today, I will take responsibility for my own needs. It is not up to my child to meet my needs. If I need rest, if I need to exercise, if I need to have time to pray, then I will figure out how to make these important priorities happen so I can be the best parent I can be.
Today, I will keep the dignity of my child intact even if we have a conflict.
Today, I will keep the connection to my child and the love for my child alive and well.