Searching & Trying

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I’ve begun reading Parenting with Love & Logic, and have already felt the weight of conviction. At the same time, I do feel some encouragement that I’m somehow doing mostly okay. I’m only a few chapters in, and so much of the principles are already ringing true. Giving me some hope that I can change and do better, and equip my kids better than I have. It’s not too late.

I am nowhere near thinking that Love & Logic is going to solve all my problems. I’ve been a mother long enough to really understand that there is no “method” to this madness of raising children. Not really. However, a wing and a prayer, and flying by the seat of my pants isn’t really working any more. I need some concrete suggestions, and I’m beginning to see a lot of practical value in this book.

It’s been a long time since I’ve read any parenting books, because most of the ones I’ve read are centered around formulas, and one has even been severely detrimental to my oldest son before I learned better. Ever since, I have been very, very leery about reading any parenting books.

One thing I know: There is no panacea in parenting.

There is only learning from the mistakes and triumphs of others who have gone before me. There is only surrounding myself with a supportive “village” of friends and family who can convict, suggest, encourage, and contribute to the refining of my parenting. There will always be a certain amount of improvisation in parenting, and I’m okay with that.

I just don’t want it to be all improvisation any more. It’s too much, and there is too much at stake.

While there are many things I’m doing well as a mother, there are a lot of holes I’d like filled. I’d like some practical, rubber-meets-the-road tools I can start applying today.

Love & Logic seems to have an abundance of those.

So, as I read it with an open mind, I find myself trying to implement some of the principles. It’s hard, but it seems to work, in that it does seem to be making my kids stop and think a little.

That’s what I want, right? Children who can think for themselves? Yes. That’s what I want.

Still – the amount of control I have to give up, and give over to their small hands and minds is daunting. Can I really give that up? Can I really let them fall and fail everyday? Do I really love them enough to let them fail in small ways now, so that they don’t fail in dangerous ways as they grow older? Can I really just back up a little (okay, a LOT), and be the one who picks them up and dusts them off, and encourages them to try again — and still let them fail again if they need another lesson?

That’s a lot to ask.

I’m examining myself thoroughly, and praying a lot over this. The principles ring true, so I think I’ll keep reading. I’ll glean what I can from it, and move forward. I’ll forgive myself, start over, and learn from my mistakes, so that my kids can learn from theirs.

I want to quit preaching, lecturing, and commanding them. I want to lead, guide, and teach them instead. I’m tired of being too tough on the kids, too controlling, and too quick to anger. I get onto them too quickly, I don’t listen well, and I order them around more than is good for them.

They’re people. They have free will. Even God lets us exercise our free will to our own detriment, but he doesn’t protect us from the consequences of our actions. He’s always there when we fall, to give us a hand up, and set us on our feet again. His patience is unending.

Mine is not. I am not God, obviously, but I long to follow in his footsteps.

So, here goes…something.

As I’m writing this, I just leaned over and raised my voice at Durin. And commanded him. Sigh…. Man, this is hard.

Grace & Peace,
Tiffany

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3 thoughts on “Searching & Trying

  1. I love this approach to parenting that we discovered back during pre-foster care/adoption training. I haven’t had much of chance to put it into practice yet as my son is barely out of the baby stage.

  2. I am one of those with a formula, but mine allows you to command, complain, and lose it, and then go one caring. I think formula’s that suggest a parent has to always be on control of their emotions sets unrealistic expectations and that has damaged parents–we carry enough guilt without the expert advisers creating more.

    So here is my formula in brief. CARE: Confront un-acceptalbe behavior and that might include stepping on you last nerve. When that involves blowing your cool a bit–take a calming breath and Ally which means reconnect with the child. Review first in your mind and if it seems necessary then with the child. With children who can read, always ask them what set you off. You will get some suprising answers. E = expect things to be okay and go on.

    No magic, there is none, but has helped many. Stay strong you are not alone and you are doing the world’s most important job.

    Katherine .

    • That’s essentially what I already do. My problem is that I lose my cool too soon, too often, and could use some practical tools that help me put off that moment.

      I appreciate the encouragement and the insight you shared. 🙂

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