Saturday, September 21, 2013

Ready 4 the Marathon-Parenting

From the moment that first baby is born, it is time to strap on your Nikes and get ready to put in some real work. Training up a child in the way they should go is definitely not for the faint of heart, it's 24/7 work. Maybe it's even better to look at it as an investment, the more you are willing to put into the early stages, the easier & more rewarding the years after it will be.

I think so often as parents we can think they are "too young" to start & everything they do is "too cute". We sadly underestimate their real intelligence & how much from each situation they are truly picking up on & taking in.

A weekly example of this in my life has definitely been Gymboree class with Austin. It can be a challenge to keep your 2 year old focused on each new task the teacher presents, helping them appropriately interact with the other children around them, & so forth. I will say there are definitely some parents that stay "on it" all 45 minutes of class, but then there are other parents that you can definitely tell it is a huge struggle sadly because maybe "the work" has not been put in effect on the home front & the kid isn't going to "magically" straighten up when in public.

Some parents try to discipline, but the child literally laughs in their face & runs away because they notice the inconsistency & the parents' desperation not to be embarrassed. Other parents sadly just kind of surrender & let their kid do whatever even if that means other kids might have to be the victim of their misbehavior. Some parents laugh off everything their kid does & even disobeying rules is something the parent takes lightly because their kid is having fun & just "being a kid". 

Some things at 2 years old may seem so light, cute, & innocent now but believe me when I say all this "cuteness" quickly fades when they are trying to do the same types of things at 6 years old & then 9 years old & so forth. Kids aren't just fun play things to dress up, they are precious responsibilities we have been entrusted with to raise up as great people & wonderful contributors to our society! A huge job, but not impossible by any means!

Training starts WAY earlier than we might think. As a baby are we jumping up every single time we hear the slightest peep out of our lil' ones even after we know they are fed, have no gas, are warm, & changed or do we give them the opportunity to try & learn to soothe themselves before stepping in? When you notice that your baby is repeatedly throwing down a toy, ON PURPOSE, do you let it just slide or embrace the opportunity to train. When throwing themselves down intentionally starts or you notice them voicing an "ehh" to express disagreement toward what you have asked, what do you do?
And this is just the beginning, early stuff. There is the first time your kid tries to come against you & say "NO", runs away instead of coming to you when you call for them, the time where they touch the very same thing you just said not to touch just to see what you'll do. It's a marathon, not a sprint.

What's the good news? It gets easier the more time you invest & the more consistent you AND your partner are with each new trial that might try to pop up.

Most importantly, your children need to know you love them. Kids can definitely read us like a book & can tell when it's all an act, out of just pure frustration, or coming from a place of true love & care for their well being (even in the midst of disciplining them). We need to invest time in each kid not just in taking the time to train them, but in investing special 1 on 1 time with each child playing with them,  nurturing their personal interests, & just listening to them & letting them know just how important & individual they truly are.

Parents don't want to feel like the "bad parent", but if you invest just as much time into building your child up as the correcting & training, you aren't going to feel that way. In fact, you are going to feel even better about yourself because you know you are doing your best & seeing the fruit of your hard labor develop in your children is beyond rewarding!

Keep up the great work! I will be the 1st parent to admit that parenting is not always easy & there will be days you doubt your decisions & wonder if you are "doing it right", but if your heart is in the right place & you are doing your best-It will come together. Stop being your harshest critic (note to self). If you mess up & have a bad day from time to time or lose your cool, don't get down on yourself & get right back into it. If you notice maybe you didn't start as early as you should have in your kiddos & some changes definitely need to be made, get started today! You are stronger than you know & you can do it!!!

Raising up kids can definitely be compared to gardening-If you want to have a successful garden it takes a lot of work & patience in the beginning, but in time the results of all that hard labor will become more evident & you can really enjoy the produce.

-M&M Momma

All ready for another year of
"Ballet Under the Stars"!

With their lil' friends

My lil' camel,
staying hydrated!

The ballet's #1 fan.
She took in every minute of it.

The sweetest thing is watching
them dance like "rinas" (ballerinas)

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