No one told me parenting was hard. I was often warned that children would take up a lot of my spare time and that I would always be busy. But I don’t remember any mum or dad telling me that intentionally instructing and teaching my children would be one of the hardest parts of being a parent.
At the end of the day I just want to be a good mum to my daughters and I want them to grow up knowing they are loved, knowing how to respect others, and to give back to a world that revolves around self.
But doing this intentionally can be so hard. It takes time. It takes effort. It takes good problem solving because one discipline method may work on one child but not the other. And does the discipline method work in the first place if the child displays the same behavior again?
I haven’t read books on discipline because I rarely have time to read these days, but I am blessed to be able to talk with other friends who are mums with similar aged children about different methods to try.
My concern is not on how to parent. I just want to be the best mum possible for my girls by teaching them right from wrong so they can make wise choices when they are older.
You never really know how good a mum you are until your child displays good behavior or they react in a positive way to a negative situation.
Jacob arrived home early from work one afternoon and Esther hadn’t had a sleep and decided to cry for no reason. She couldn’t be consoled. We asked her what was wrong and she just cried and cried. Was she sick? No. Was she tired? No (yes) Did she want us to put on a DVD or play with her? No No NO was her reply. I ended up getting frustrated and told her to go to her room and when she had calmed down and stopped crying she could come out.
Esther went to her room and still cried. But she did calm down and fifteen minutes later she came back out in the family room with tear stained cheeks. By this time dinner was ready and it was time to sit at the table. Just before we said grace, Esther put her hand on my arm and looked at me and said, ‘I’m sorry mummy for crying and being silly.’
I looked at Jacob and smiled because we had obviously done something right for our gorgeous little three year old to know how to apologise for her tantrum.
If I lash out at Esther in a moment of weakness because she has frustrated me, I will apologise afterwards and give her a cuddle. I’m not perfect, but I know when to say sorry, and so does Esther. My behavior as her mum is her greatest teacher.
Have you ever apologized to your child? What part of parenting do you find the hardest?