Monday, December 5, 2011

things are not always as they seem

Side note: this picture is saved to my desktop to motivate me to wrap beautiful gifts this Christmas instead of just the normal quick tape-bow-and-done jobby. I want to make them look as special as hopefully the contents end up being!

Anyway, on to the real blog topic: the kind of parent I want to be. There isn't a reason for this post, it's just been on my mind lately and I find myself having to purposely make decisions to parent one way or another...and these are some of the things I've been basing my decisions on.

I want to parent in a way that first gives my children the opportunity to obey before I jump in and correct them. Disclaimer: this, of course, does not apply in a situation that could put them in danger. ie: They ran into the street. But sometimes I feel as though my desire to give my child[ren] space to make decisions and learn to obey can make it seem like I'm being a lazy mother.

Example of what I am talking about: I remember a moment during our visit to Cali where I was having dinner with several girlfriends of mine and Roman was walking over to a piece of siding that was laying by the side of the house. I stood there watching Roman, knowing I was not going to allow him to touch it because it was sharp and could hurt him, waiting to see what he'd do with it. I don't want to rush in to scold him before he's done something wrong, nor do I want to remove him from the situation- I want him to be obedient when I tell him "no." And so I watched. But my girlfriends, with their big hearts and a desire to protect my son because they loved him (which is awesome, in my book!) swooped in and one moved the siding while another picked Roman up and took him to another section of the yard. And I chuckled and of course thanked them for being concerned for his safety because they acted with good intentions. But I silently wondered if they were thinking, "Good grief! His own mother is standing right there doing nothing and I had to go move her kid. Come on, lady- how about be a parent!" I have decided they weren't thinking that because they are my friends and I like to think they know my heart. But how easy would that be to think of someone?

It's moments like this that teach me that it's important to trust someone's heart, especially a mother's heart for her child[ren], and consider that there might be a pretty good reason for an action that doesn't make sense or seems wrong to you based on the limited information you have.

I also want to be a parent who teaches her children to live appropriately in the world around them instead of changing the world to make it easier and avoid lessons. It would be easier to put Sophie's bowl somewhere Roman couldn't reach, or to only put water in it during Sophie's meal times, but then he wouldn't learn the lesson: dog water bowls are not to be played in.

And there are certain times that allow for lessons to be learned the hard way. Don't judge me for this- I promise I'm not a horrible mother! But for a while Roman kept trying to reach my hot coffee cup in the morning and I would move it quickly and say, "No, Roman, it's hot! Ouch!" but it wasn't doing much to keep him from trying and we were doing this little dance every morning. So one day I didn't move it. When he reached toward it I said, "Roman, no touch. It's hot. Ouch." but he touched it anyway. He quickly pulled his hand away and rubbed his hands together. I said, "Yeah, ouch. Hot." And the struggle was over. It also turned out to be a really great way to teach him what "hot" is (and in a world with ovens, stove tops, and fire it's a good lesson to know!) and now if he is reaching toward something he shouldn't, like a Scentsy burner, I just say "Roman, be careful- it's hot." and he will rub his hands together like he did when he touched my coffee cup and walk away. Sometimes teaching an effective lesson isn't completely pain free. But that was a safe way to show him that "hot" means "don't touch" for a reason.

I'm not saying all of this because I have it figured out and want to teach anyone anything! I write it because it's on my mind and I love hearing other mom's write me back with advice or "I'm there too!" comments. And because it's easiest to write about what life is right now- and this is my life right now! :)

I'm just really enjoying being a mama. It's fun to do something that requires so much thought.

And the hugs and kisses aren't so bad, either. ;)

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