Monday, February 6, 2012

Aww...CRAP! I've screwed up my kids...

I know you're probably thinking, "She just barely realized this?"  If you've read this blog for any length of time, this is probably coming as no surprise to you.  It's apparent in posts like THIS, and THIS, and THIS and I can't forget THIS...(you get the point, it's not all bliss here in my world)!  I have been pondering this subject more than usual lately since I have been reading this for this months book club:

It is a wonderful book, don't get me wrong, it just made me feel incredibly guilty, and incredibly inept at this job called parenting.  Apparently, this whole parenting thing would work out a lot better for all involved if I would have started out with, and stuck to a grand plan.  The parenting plan in this book is a great one--well organized, and well thought out, and the authors are truly experts on this subject having taught seminars on parenting all over the world.  The only problem?  I'm not sure if I could stick to it, and actually make it work.  Like most people who become parents, I'm just not sure that I had this whole thing planned out really well (if at all).  Over here, we are most often doing what you call "winging it".  I'm not sure that is a great parenting plan.  It hasn't always been this way.  When I went to college, (and majored in Child Development, mind you), I thought that I had a great plan.  My kids weren't going to grow up to be brats like other peoples kids.  I had a leg up on other mothers, since I had learned several strategies, and tips on child rearing before my children were born.  I thought of myself as quite an expert on the subject.  Then, my first child was born.  Oh my, how quickly I changed from being an expert to feeling like an idiot.  As the kids kept coming, one after another, I realized quite quickly that what worked for one child didn't necessarily work for the others.  These dang kids were all different.  And not only that, but as they got older, and entered different stages in their development, things that had worked in the past didn't necessarily work on that child anymore.  Crap.    

As much as I have tried over the years to come up with a system of managing this family, and parenting these children, I have ended up just where I began, winging it. Each time I have tried to institute a grand plan, or some sort of organized system, whether it was allowances, or chore charts, or incentive programs, they all seemed to blow up in my face. Either the children weren't excited about it like I was, or they wouldn't cooperate with the plan, or it was too difficult or too multi-faceted to keep up long term.  In fact, once I had an idea for chore charts for each child, with rewards attached that they could earn by doing their basic chores and keeping their part of the house clean and tidy.  As I stood up in family night to present them with their chore charts, (that I had typed up on the computer, and neatly laminated), I had one of my teenagers say to me, "Mom, why do you even do things like this?  You know we never stick to them.  It seems to me that this is a waste of time!"  Sometimes, it's times like these that you want to throw the parenting books out the window, (and slap the said child).  I can't blame her, though.  She's been around long enough to know that her dear old mom isn't the supermom that I wish I was.  *News flash*  This just in: Tami is NOT super mom!!

All of that being said, not all  is lost.  Even though I see some of the symptoms in my children that are described in "The Entitlement Trap", I do feel like there is still hope. No, I am not magically going to become an ultra-organized supermom overnight.  I am, however, more aware of the fact that my children, now more than ever, need to learn to work hard, and be grateful for the wonderful life they have been given. I also need to be aware of the fact that they need to have consequences for their actions, and that it is okay if I do not step in and save them from themselves in every instance.  There are too many parents in today's world that don't let kids feel the sting of loss, or the humiliation of defeat. Kids need to be allowed to fail once in awhile, and learn to pull themselves back up--on their own.  They need to learn to be responsible for their own choices.  How else can they learn what life is all about?  Heaven knows, in the real world mommy is not always there to pick up the pieces, or give you a gold star for your efforts.  Sometimes, life is hard, and our children need to know that!  

Most of all, while I was reading this book, I was grateful that I do have a secret parenting trick up my sleeve that not every parent uses (though all of them should).  I have HELP.  Help in the form of a loving Heavenly Father, who cares not only for my children, but for ME.  I can be assured that if I am seeking His help, and His guidance in this crazy job called parenthood, He will help me when I need Him most.  Thank goodness.  Because as a parent, I need all the help I can get!  Man, this job is HARD!

1 comment:

Heather said...

I was JUST thinking this today! I need to get my kids to being more independent. I do WAY too much for them! I love the way you write Tami!

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