Family is the heart and soul of the home. They are what is most important. I have been trying to focus on my kids more this week and spend special time with them. If I don't have time I find it! I was reading Fablehaven, with my oldest when a passage hit me like a ton of bricks. I was impressed with how the Grandpa listened to Seth and Kendra when they pleaded their case of why they shouldn't be punished. The Grandpa asked "Were my rules unclear or the consequences?"
Both children agreed that he was clear but Seth felt lied to for the reasons behind these rules. For this unfairness he felt like he shouldn't have been punished.
The Grandpa shocked Kendra with asking what she thought?
She expressed that a reduction in punishment would be fair.
The Grandpa thought about it but warned them that rules lose all power if punishments are not enforced. He decided it was a deal as long as they still paid a price for their disobedience, and they got one more chance.
Both children agreed that was fair. No fighting or yelling and both the adult and children were happy. If only it could be like this always. However, I can learn a lesson from this, and that is to compromise and let the children feel like they are heard. I definitely need to practice this! In addition to compromising I am learning about my kids and accepting them for who they are. The last thing I want to do is crush their spirit and smother their light.
When I had my first born I was so excited! I did not know that I would have post partum depression and that he would be a colicky baby. I remember he would just scream and scream until I had tried it all, I would just have to put him down and cover my ears and pray the screaming would stop! I often wonder if I was in a better place back then, would he have the struggled of stress and anxiety that he has now? As a parent I was figuring how much was overprotective or too strict. I think I put too much responsibility without really thinking. When baby #2 and #3 came along I really needed his help!
My daughter and next boy are both struggling with being in the middle, Also, my daughter wants a sister because she is the only girl. She told me on several occasions that I should either have another girl or get her a cat. Kids are so funny! Both of them struggle with where they fit and test the limits more to get more attention. My little boy is very shy and afraid to try anything new. He is so quiet that he often gets left out. He also wants to keep up with the older 2 so he wants to catch up, but feels bad when he can't.My daughter constantly feels like things aren't fair. She also demonstrates first born syndrome at times.
My youngest has a lot of health issues ands needs lots of extra attention so that has really been the challenge the last few years! He is very happy but thinks everything should be his way. In fact, most of my kids act that way! He really behaves like he is the only child.
So why am I telling you all this? It is my way of saying I accept them and I cannot fight against such strong individuals. The difficulty lies in accepting these characteristics and working with them to encourage strong character development. Sometimes, as parents we get so caught up on teaching them right and wrong, that we forget to teach them to love themselves. I am noticing more, maybe because I am looking for it, when they are coming down hard on themselves. It is really hard for me to not come down on them to so I can "teach them a lesson".
Praying in the heat of the moment is also something I am working on. When I ask the Lord for help I am more calm and able to handle the situation. I am trying to pray more during the day for help and pray when I am invited to a fight by my children.
The kids teachers at church made this beautiful stone with a heart and a little note. It reads: Put this heart in a special place to remind you of your saviors atoning sacrifice and his great love for you.
As I held this little stone in my hand I thought about how each of my children are like this stone. I need to put them in a special place in my heart and let them know daily my great love for them.
How can you show your family your great love for them?