One of my most favorite parts of living in the house here is the actual pitter patter of little feet, except at 3:30am. Although when that sweet soft voice whispers “Mommy can I sleep with you?” it melts even the crankiest sleep lover. After helping her potty and squeezing her a couple of times she is sent back off to her own bed. As much as this momma loves her kiddos I love my sleep without feet in my ribs just as much. Unfortunately unlike most nights where I can roll over and quickly nod off to sleep this morning sleep alluded me. I tried for quite a long time and finally accepted defeat and showered and got ready for the day.
So this uncharted territory of super early rising left me with ample free time so naturally after reading my scriptures for a while I decided to check out everyone on Facebook. I love Facebook first thing in my morning because it is the end of the day for most of my friends and family so I can quickly see what everyone has done for the day. I was scrolling along reading and enjoying updates when I came across a link to a parenting article. I am always looking for ways to improve so I clicked on it and read it. I can’t exactly pinpoint why, but it bugged me. Like a lot; a whole lot.
It was a pretty good article; for some people I am sure it is very helpful. She talks about instead of using “consequences” you let the child solve the problem. Well that’s all well and good if you have one or two kids but let’s be honest if I let each of my 7 kids decide in what order the bedtime routine would run every night they would go to bed at midnight! I am all for letting kids make lots of choices but I also believe they need boundaries in order to thrive and blossom. When it comes to what is best for them call me crazy but I believe a parent knows better than a 3-year-old about most things. One of the best places for our kids to learn to follow rules and boundaries that are in place is in our homes. A safe, loving environment run by people who know and love them and have their best interests at heart. Throwing a tantrum should not result in getting to choose when you do things. If we never are taught to control and deal with our emotions then we would have adults throwing temper tantrums when they don’t get their way. Don’t we want our kids to be the best version of themselves possible? A temper tantrum from a 30-year-old is far less amusing than one from a 2-year old. I like the idea of letting children problem solve.I just don’t agree with blanket open ended problem solving. I also like the idea of letting the consequence follow. Even when we problem solve there are consequences, some are good and some are bad but they are always there following our actions.
The lady who wrote the article is a doctor of psychology so I guess that makes her some kind of expert. I once heard that an expert was someone who completed over 10,000 hours in the same field. Well let’s see there are 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year and my oldest child is 13.5 years old now. That equals 118,260 hours logged so far but to be fair I do sleep some of those hours so let’s subtract a quarter of that time for sleep. So my new total is 88,695 hours logged as being a parent and that is just for my oldest. I don’t really think multiplying it by 7 would be fair either because all the hours overlap. But each child does require individual attention in order to flourish and grow. I guess that makes me an expert 😉
Absolutes belong in mathematics not in parenting. I am a much different mom now than I was 13 years ago. If I stayed the same as I was back then I would be drowning and gasping for air. I learned a long time ago that as parents we need to be flexible in our approaches. What works for one does not necessarily work for another. That’s why it is great that there are so many “experts” out there who we can learn from. I am grateful for the “hands on” training I have received in the last 13.5 years and all the examples I have watched and taken bits and pieces from over time.
There is definitely a learning curve when it comes to parenting and we all need to cut ourselves some slack.