I helped with a group of younger moms on Friday mornings this past year. They have a Facebook page they maintain. One sweet lady asked for some suggestions for dealing with her three-year-old. As comments flowed on a private discussion, I realized a couple of things. First of all, it doesn’t matter how smart you are or how much experience you have with kids, parenting is hard, and tends to be a moving target. What works for one child may not work for another. The uncertain nature of the task makes it all the more frustrating.
Secondly, I was reminded of the importance of encouragement. Just telling someone to hang in there, or sharing your own experience can make a huge difference. Giving advice, while admitting you don’t necessarily have THE answer, just AN answer, is helpful, too.
This week I also read an article that made me pause. It’s called 5 Reasons Why Modern-Day Parenting Is in Crisis, According to a British Nanny. I read the first point, and thought, “Yikes. That’s me just a little bit.” The basic idea of the first reason is that we tend to cater too much to our children so they won’t be upset. I don’t compromise on the bigger things (at least I don’t think I do), but I do think I’ve been guilty of caving to my kids on the smaller things to avoid their backlash.
I’m not sure if I feel better or worse, but my husband has noticed me being firmer with the boys. If he can tell a difference in such a short time, then clearly I have a problem in this area.
It’s not fun looking in the mirror and seeing the blemish on your face. And it isn’t fun realizing there’s something you are doing in your parenting that may be contributing to your problems. But, taking a good analysis is the only way to fix a problem.
I read Carry on, Warrior this week by Glennon Melton. She does a great job of reminding all of us to give ourselves grace. I’m glad to know we get lots of do-overs in this life. You may be facing multiple battles a day. Keep on keeping on.
I had a good friend tell me when my boys were young to be as consistent as possible. No one could probably earn an A+ in that category, but as my boys get older, I’m seeing the fruit of the expectations I set early. Let’s pray they continue on that path!
If there is something not working in your home right now, take some time to evaluate what the problem might be. Then experiment with different ways to fix it. Each failure is just one step closer to the right answer!
Image from freedigitalphotos.net.