Endless Strength Header

 photo blogheader-2.jpg

February 11, 2012

Sometimes I Wonder Why

Sometimes I wonder why God gave me five children.

Seriously.

I don't have the temperament for it.  

I like my house clean.  

I like my house quiet.  

I don't like kids running around, carrying on.  

In short, I struggle when kids are just being kids.

**********

I was a kid who had a smart-alec mouth.  I was a kid who ran around, carrying on.  I was a kid who got disciplined for being in places I was not supposed to be.  I was a kid who got smacked.  I was a kid who got spanked with a large wooden board (the kind that left bruises).  I was a kid who got spanked with a small wooden board (the kind that really stung when it hit because it was so light).  

I don't think my parents could handle normal kids either.  I think my parents preferred that we all be "little adults."

And so, now, I find myself reflecting on my parenting style and wondering why I stress out about normal kid behavior.   And I know it's because of my experiences.  

My parents would tell us before we visited places (when we were younger) "Now you kids need to remember that children should be seen and not heard."

I got my nose put in the corner if I was caught running around, causing commotion at any events we would go to.

Because my parents would say (in the car before entering a restaurant or a party):  "If there is any misbehavior, there will be whippings when we get home."  (sometimes insert "the belt" or "the board" for "whippings.)

So, as a child, I learned that the best way to control the behavior of my children was to threaten with whippings.  Tell my children to "be quiet" and to "sit down" and to "stay put."

I don't know how to let kids be kids.  I don't.  I don't know how to set the appropriate boundaries and give my kids some freedom within those boundaries. 

I need to learn how to do this because I find that my actions and words while I try to "control" my children are putting distance between them and me.  

Don't get me wrong.  I know I need to be the parent.  I know I need to discipline.  I don't have a problem doing that.  However, I am noticing that I don't know which behavior actually needs disciplining.  I discipline (at times) for small things...things where my kids haven't even done anything wrong...they've simply been running around and carrying on a little too much.  They just need a gentle push to go outside to let off that energy, not a scolding.  Sometimes they are just loud.  I forget that...Kids are loud and it's okay. 

Sometimes I forget that my kids need to work their differences out among themselves and I shouldn't be involved all the time.

So yeah.   

Sometimes I wonder why God gave me five children

Was it so that I have five chances to really screw it up?  Or was it perhaps because I needed to get to the point of stretching myself this thin for it to hit home that there's no way I can continue to discipline the way I have been and expect to keep my sanity?

I need some help.  I don't want to push my kids away.

5 comments:

  1. You'd think I'd have some advice, wouldn't you? But I don't. I have the same issues, and I don't know the answer. But I do know that your kids will be just fine, and that the fact that you care enough to ask these questions means you are a good mom! Trust me, I thought all my kids were going to be so messed up from my mistakes, and the grown ones turned out spectacularly! God is so good, He fills in our gaps. Keep praying!

    ReplyDelete
  2. PS: I think my young ones will be fine, too, but I just wanted to use the grown ones as an example! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I mean this with all due concern. It sounds like you blame your parents, when at some point you have to stop asking WHY you have an inclination to behave a certain way and simply ask yourself WHAT would be the best action TODAY, in this moment. Own your actions, take a deep breath, and surprise your kids with a soft voice when they least expect it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I suppose it does read that way.

    I definitely agree about taking ownership. I don't think it's my parents fault at all that I am impatient and quick to get in the mix with things. And my parents never got into my siblings and my stuff, so that's all on me.

    Since I wrote this, I have done mainly that. I've let the kids be louder when they are just having fun. I've reminded my oldest that she doesn't always have to argue with her siblings and/or me, without yelling.

    I certainly don't blame my parents for my misgivings. I simply see it as what has shaped my outlook

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am a very impatient person, always have been. Add children to that and I totally know how you feel! I don't like it noisy and messy, and that's how it always is. I don't have any magical answers (and you have more parenting experience than I do) but I just wanted to let you know you're not alone.

    I try to ask Mary for patience, to help me be a mother like her. Sometimes I forget to ask her though, I need to be better about that!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for reading. I enjoy reading other perspectives, please feel free to share yours. :)