Thursday, March 8, 2012

A few thoughts on ... parenting


Mother's Day 2011

Do not believe anyone who thinks they have the perfect system for parenting. In my many years as a mom (30 years), I found a lot of parenting to be trial and error. Of course, there are some basic principles that work - like respect your kids, aim for consistency etc. But in the every day matters ... trial and error. 

sweet Jenny



Let's take chores. Sometimes a chore chart worked well, other times it did not work. (One time when Dave was traveling and I was tired ... I hid 10 dimes in the girls messy room ... THAT WORKED.)

sweet Christy

Or family devotions. We read stories, did projects, served others, always changing things up. Some things worked great. Some things flopped. Trial and error.


sisters
I tried many different approaches to temper tantrums. (When we lived in Renton, my friends, who were all 10 years younger than me, loved to hear temper tantrum stories from when my daughters were little. They took much encouragement from this ... as they thought the now older Christy and Jenny were practically perfect in every way.)

But what is my point, you ask?

Try lots of different things as a parent. Do not get stuck in just one way of parenting for each child and each situation. And ask our creative God for His ideas. This is how I finally came up with a tantrum solution that worked for us.

dad and daughter love
Old way that seldom worked: me in anxious or annoyed voice:  "This is unacceptable behavior and you have a choice to make (blah, blah, blah...) ..." Both my blood pressure and my daughter's is rising, as is the intensity of the situation. I always "won," but it was at a cost to both of us.

more dad and daughter love
New way that usually worked: One day the Holy Spirit prompted me to instead, address the girls in a soft voice, offering them His comfort and help. It looked like this. me in soft voice: "Wow, honey, I can see that you are really upset. Would you like me to pray for you?" They  almost always said yes. 

This often led to the girls snuggled up in my arms as I asked God to help sooth and comfort them. (very fun, indeed) And the cool thing is - our adult daughters ask us to pray for them on a regular basis. 

January 2012
So ... try it out and see if this works for your kiddos. If not, ask God for another idea. He knows and understands you and your kids. 

ps. And, please, do not be so hard on yourself when your kids act up. We have a perfect Heavenly Father and we still act up all the time. 

 

28 comments:

  1. Brilliant, brilliant post, Glenda. Thank you!! You give SUCH good parenting advice. I am going to try that...will report back!

    Sxxxx

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  2. Great post, Glenda - I couldn't agree more! I've always said that children are God's way of humbling us - sometimes we could think that we have things a bit together but with children, NO WAY! The only thing I would add to this is that whenever you're totally befuddled about how to handle a parenting situation - FALL to you KNEES and BEG for HIS help and creativity! With my kids being 28 and 32 years old, I can say without exception that IT WORKS! Or should I say, HE WORKS! Thanks for this great post!

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  3. Wow, Glenda. I wished I'd read this when my son was younger. Wise words written here. Thank you!

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  4. Yes, yes, yes! What great advice. What wisdom. Awesome!

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  5. I looooove this post. Thank you!

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  6. With my girls in their early twenties, I know that some of your ideas will still work. Although they don't throw temper tantrums, they still have tempers! Very good advice, Glenda!

    XO,
    Jane

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  7. This is so beautiful, Glenda. We try hard to interact with our son with gentleness, but can always use reminders. Thank you!

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  8. I've been a mom for nearly 32 years, Glenda, and I wholeheartedly agree with your wise advice. Trial and error because each of our children are different, and what works for one child may completely backfire with another. I think Spirit-led parenting is ALWAYS the best way to go, and a soft answer always takes us much further. (Not to mention it keeps our blood pressure under control...)

    One of my favorite quotes on dealing with teens: "Don't step into the ring with 'em!" THAT requires lots of deep breaths, and the power of the Holy Spirit. :-)

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  9. What a great and thoughtful way to handle tantrums. I'll bet your girls are terrific adults. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  10. Well now, my friend, a lovely new approacoh!!! Too bad, I'm a little late...but does it work on adult children as well?

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  11. Love this post and thank you for sharing your wisdom! Blessings!

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  12. LOVE this Gg! And I needed it today. I have been reacting harshly (impatiently) to my four-year-old son's melt-downs, even though I know it's because he needs comfort. I will stop and pray in the moment first, and then see where that leads! Lots of love to you, girlfriend! Jenny

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  13. Trial and error? Absolutely! The more kids you have, the more methods you 'perfect'? Absolutely NOT! Having 6 kids ages 7-23 means I have that many more opportunities to practice my trial and error parenting. Fortunately, there are fewer errors now than before, having started to figure out what simply does not work. But there are still many many errors. My biggest success with the little ones? Remembering more often to bathe my responses in prayer BEFORE I open my mouth. My biggest failure? Forgetting far too often to pray before I respond. Maybe someday I'll get a handle on it...

    God is merciful, and my children are gracious and forgiving when I am in the wrong. I only hope that they have learned as much about God from me as I have from them. :)

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  14. Loved reading this, Glenda! Yes, trial and error, for each child who is different from the other, and all wrapped with His Spirit. And I love your "ps"! So true ...

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  15. Thank you for this Glenda...I'm glad I'm not the only one constantly going through the T&E process! That you for encouraging this mom of littles! :)

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  16. I've received a few requests to open up Pay It Forward to posts from a bloggers own blog. I thought I'd give it a try. Although the original idea was to share what you've seen elsewhere on the internet, I recognize that each time we post something on our own blogs we are also sharing Good News, great tips, wonderful prayers, fabulous photos, scrumptious recipes, hilarious humor, unbelievable books, stories of goodwill, or good things that have knocked our socks off. So let's give it a try—shall we? I'd love to have you link up!

    I'll leave the March linky open until March 14th.(Entered links will appear in two posts.) I can't wait to see what gets posted!

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  17. Ooh, I love this, Glenda. You are a wise mummy. this is great advice - and I imagine the carryover from your trial and error is the wonderful relationship you have with your girls now. Thanks for this.

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  18. You are so wise! I got so tired of reading books that contradicted each other, I finally put them all on the shelf and did what you did--I asked the Lord to help me raise my kids His way. He came through.

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  19. Great words of wisdom. So what you're saying is, there's no one size fits all parenting manual, right?! :) I keep trying...

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  20. Spring break is coming...I need a new strategy. Love the wisdom that comes from your heart. The internet was a much less wise place while you were on vacation!

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  21. You are sooo...awesome! I am totally stealing that idea of hiding money in the messy room. I'm glad your back from your break. You were missed.

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  22. Your advice is right on spot. I've been a mom for almost 43 years so I can identify with what you say.

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  23. I have 26 years parenting ... wow I am saying as I type this! You are so right! I can really say I have found your words to be true in my own experience as well.
    I loved seeing your sweet family too:)
    Love ya!
    XO

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  24. good advice! i carry holy water around..they know I am mad when i start sprinkling them.

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  25. 24 years of parenting for me and I totally agree with you! Great advice...totally!

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  26. Fabulous post & comforting! Thank you for the good reminders and the encouragement to experiment and not expect perfection from self or anyone else.

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