Sunday, April 22, 2012

a marathon, not a sprint

The teacher in me got out a little this week.
I was talking to my sister a few days ago about how defeated parenting can sometimes make me feel.
Normally I don't really take issue with people who talk about me.  I mean, I have pretty good self-esteem and generally feel like if folks are talking about me they either think I'm awesome or at the very least they are giving someone else a break.  
One exception that springs to mind is when it comes to my kids. 
I don't worry about those who think I'm the the mean Mama.  
That's totally fine with me.  I'm not their friend.  I'm their mother.  
It's the ones who think my kids are out of control.  I know just how I feel when I see a family out in public and the kids are ruling the parents.  I want to ask them if they really think they are doing their children a favor by not being in charge.  
I think it was at Christian's two-year-old well visit that the doctor was trying to warn us about typical two-year-old behavior.  She knew we had only been parents for a couple of months and so she tells us to basically try to placate him.  For instance, if he's banging on your pots in the kitchen floor and you don't want him to, just give him a plastic bowl instead.
I'm sorry.  What?  Obviously the woman did not know me as my children do not play with my kitchen utensils!  I'm more of a house-proof your kid rather than a kid-proof your house kind of parent.
When I was in the classroom, I was always commended for my management skills.  
My students behaved.  There were of course ones that tried me every year, but I have high expectations and for the most part, the students rose to the occasion.  
I also have high expectations of my own children.  So when my almost five-year-old is having a level 10 freak out in the nursery at church because he didn't get to be the helper, this is a problem for me.  
This is just one example of one of his freak-outs.
After I deal with the problem and remind him who is boss in the scenario that is his life, I begin to worry some that maybe other people think I don't know how to keep my kids in check.  
I pray regularly that Chris and I would be exactly the right parents for our kids.  
Doubt and defeat sometimes still creep in. 

Here's what I know:  nothing just happens.
God prepared us for our kids and He prepared them to be ours.
We want what's best for our kids.
We try daily to train them up to amazing people!
So when I felt just a tad defeated, I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and tried a different route with Christian.  

Less than a week in with the behavior chart, and we're doing ok.  

Parenting is a marathon, not a sprint.  Here's what we're trying for the next leg of the race.
We still use time-out or spankings if the need arises, but having a visual seems to be helping him.  
He's trying to earn a sticker each day.  Three strikes equals no sticker.  Enough stickers during a given week, and then he gets whatever the goal is for that week.  Last week it was spending the night with Memaw and Papa and then going to a birthday party.  
So far, so good.  Not perfect, but it's a work in progress.

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6  

1 comment:

  1. love this! Josie really responds well to sticker charts too. Love the house proof your kid line! We agree totally with that!