When I think about three resolutions I can try to achieve in parenting, three things immediately come to mind: patience, understanding, and playfulness.
As parents there are times when our children can drive us crazy. We can easily get frustrated at the smallest, yet natural gestures a child can make. When I go through difficult moments, I can lose patience quickly. I vow to practice patience with Jonathan and David. When I begin to get impatient, I have to learn to stop, breathe, and if needed, take a timeout. Grace, I know you’ve talked to me about this before. As my own boys sometimes take a long, deep breath when they begin to get frustrated, I, too, will do that and be the primary example.
Understand Childhood Development
Grace, I believe if I understand the stages of my children’s development, I may be less impatient and recognize that their behavior is simply natural. At times, I think the boys are just being boys. Children want to be children. What I mean by this is that children, in ordinary settings, live life in the present, carefree and without worries. I want Jonathan and David to have normal stages of childhood development without the emotional baggage divorce brings. Adam and I will really need to work on this together to continue allowing our children to be children. They did not choose divorce nor should their emotional development be stunted.
Play, Play, Play
I want to play dress up and be a fairy, a princess, a superhero…along with my boys. They enjoy dressing up and being Iron Man, Superman, and Batman. I can be Wonder Woman, Supergirl or any other character. How fun would that be to just have a day of being other characters! Simply said, I want to be playful with my boys. Instead of feeling like I’m on the go constantly, need to fulfill the next thing on the to do list or quickly get through the evening routine, I want to have fun with the boys.
Here’s to practicing patience, understanding childhood development and being playful in 2011! Cheers…Red Vines, anyone?
Guiding Lesson: Eve, you said it so beautifully! Working on three resolutions to be a better parent will have a tremendous impact on you and your children. Anytime you work on becoming a better parent, you are inspiring values in your precious little ones. So by practicing patience, understanding childhood development and being playful, you are loving, caring and honoring them as children. You are mirroring God through your actions. All children want is to feel like they matter and are loved. And I commend you for not allowing your situation with Adam prevent you from giving the very best to them.
Eve, here is a poem that demonstrates the power of a loving, devoted and committed parent. I hope it inspires you to continue when it gets difficult to show patience, understanding and being playful. You are a remarkable mom and you are preparing your sons to make a difference in the world.
Children Learn What They Live by Dorothy Law Nolte
If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.
Copyright © 1972 by Dorothy Law Nolte