Tuesday, May 17, 2011

One With More Parenting Thoughts

Last Friday I was asked what I do for parenting and I froze. I wasn't prepared & I didn't really explain it well. I generally do not speak of how I parent my children, especially around the more punitive mindsets that I am around 99% of the time.

So I started think about what I DO. What tools are in my tool box? I don't have one pat answer for that. Honestly, I think that parenting would be easier if I did have one pat answer for that. If they do 'x' then I spank. If they do 'y' then I spank. That sounds so much easier in a lot of ways.

My toolbox is full of other tools, though. Here's what I do: I assess the situation. I see what is underneath the tantrum or disrespect. I try to hit the root of the problem rather than just the outward appearance of the problem. Typically if a child is upset and tantruming there is a deeper issue. Are they feeling sad?Neglected? Tired? Hungry? Do they need some extra one on one time with you? Taking care of the inner problem is much more important than taking care of the outward appearance. You can't spank out heart issues. You can spank them in deeper, making it so your children will learn to hide them better & then have them come out later in life when you can no longer spank them.

I think it's good to remember that God created us with all the emotions we have: anger & sadness included. It's ok to be angry. It's ok to feel sad. It's ok to feel frustrated and not want to do what someone asks you to do. Those things are fine. However, how you show those things is what can be wrong. You can't spank out anger... you can drive it deeper and force a person to 'fake happiness' in fear of being hit again. When they are adults and have anger they won't know how to show it properly. If you teach your children to use their words and say "I'm so angry because..." or teach them to leave the room until they simmer down then they will know how to deal w/ it as an adult. They can use the same tools you give them as children later in life.

What is parenting anyway? It's training and bringing up people to become well rounded adults, isn't it? Our children are only children for such a short time.

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