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Thursday, September 6, 2007

PERFECT PARENTING-- NOT!!!

I would love to say that life is always easy and that my children are perfect and do all they should and that Kevin and I are the patient loving parents who always put their childrens needs emotionally before ours-- but I am not a good liar. Now that the boys are back in school we are faced with the homework struggles and the organization struggles and the responsibility struggles. I have a tendency to try to bail the boys out if they get bogged down. For example, if they don't finish something I will get very mad and then dictate to them what to do to get it done. I will then proceed to force my hand in the pot and do much of it for them meanwhile letting them know each step of the way how angry I am that I am having to bail them out. Should I bail them out--- No way!!! Is it easier to bail them out instead of forcing them to do it on their own-- HECK YA!!!

So, last night we were faced with the responsibility struggle with my oldest. He is now a 4th grader and there are a lot of demands placed on 4th graders. He is also exceptionally social and wants desperately to play with his friends. So, I told him to do his homework before playing with friends and then he could read at night. Well, he said he did his homework but before dinner while I was checking I saw he had not done his spelling contract thing they have to do. He played it down but I was very frustrated. Now, I had Mia to feed, dinner to get on the table, the spelling contract, getting ready for bed and reading. I was not happy to say the least. I forced him to do the spelling contract but I was just mad the whole time. I was not the most loving mother to my son-- to say the least. We did dinner and he worked on the spelling after dinner and then finally finished and then, after many angry words were exchanged, I sent him to his room for bed (about 1 hour after his bedtime).

This morning he woke up very irritated because I was MAKING him read before he could watch TV. That attitude made me irritated and the words began to get more harsh. He did his reading and then watched TV and played with his friends before school but I had to leave early for work (I work Wednesday's and Thursday's) so I really didn't get to talk to him about last night and this morning. So, on my way to work, I called him before he walked to the bus and I told him how sorry I was for being so angry at him and that I was wrong and that I needed to control my anger. First thing he said was that he was sorry also and that he needs to work on responsibility and that he will do better. He also said he forgives me and that he hates when we argue. I told him I loved him and to have a good day and that was that.

It is just so amazing how forgiving our kids can be with us. Am I a perfect parent? NO WAY!!!! I am flawed in every way but one thing I always try to do is to tell my boys that I am sorry when I am wrong or when I act in an angry manner. It blows me away how things are just wiped away when you say a simple sorry (hmmm--- is this a model from somewhere else-- sins wiped away-- forgiven-- hmm???). I can tell you there are many things I have done wrong that are nowhere in my boys memory because I said sorry. I so appreciate that quality in children because let's face it--- NONE OF US ARE PERFECT PARENTS so this forgiveness thing really comes in handy!!!

7 comments:

  1. Kristi - I have been following your blog since you were in China. I found you at the "Queendom"! Anyway, after this post I just had to comment. I have the exact same problem with my son (5th grade). He also has trouble with organization and responsiblity. He just wants to play with his friends. Just this morning he forgot to tell me he had a late paper and I was angry and running late for work and yelled at him. Then I thought how awful it must be for him to start his day off with mom mad! A sincere "I love you" and "I'm sorry" is all it takes.
    I love your outward display of your love for Christ and enjoy following your blog!

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  2. Oh boy have I been there and am still there! Parenting is the. hardest. thing. EVER!! We've has SOOOOO many problems with school work, homework, respect in the classroom and the list goes on. Finally last year the final (75th) straw was broken. We'd been threatening to take away ALL gaming devices but never got the nerve, well we did it. One year with no playstation, PSP, computer games, etc... It was the hardest thing we've ever done, but it has paid off in more ways then we ever thought it could. NOt only is he a completely different child, but now he HAS to focus on doing his work, because the focus of finishing fast and messing around in class because all he cared about was his games is gone. We do have a "7th" period at home that he HATES, and we go over everything and make sure he's ready and organized for the next day. So far our at home extra period has worked...he's gone from C's and D's to all A's and B's. And now he wants to stay focused. I'm still waiting for that to stop, but for now I'm LOVING it!

    WOW, I just practicly wrote a post in your comments...sorry. Just remember that you are a GREAT mom and you are not the only mom who has your frustrations. We are not perfect, we're just human! Thank God!

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  3. LOVE YOUR COMMENTS!!! jcrew and Kayce-- you guys make me feel so not alone!! I appreciate it. I swear parenting is NOT easy. I think it our kids grow up with so many more pressures and things that pull them away from family and school and it is really hard to deal with. They deal with so much more than we did at their age. I feel like I am always taking things away in the form of a threat. "If you dont do xxxx Im taking away xxx" I am not a big video game mom and that seems to be the first thing taken away and then friends but how can we encourage responsibility without having to strip them of everything-- UGGG!!! LIke we have all commented-- Parenting is NOT easy!!! Thanks for your comments!!!

    Christy :)

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  4. Way to go Christy! While I'm still working on parenting my first little angel, I think I can certainly take cues from your experience and hope that I'm as strong and honest as you are when I encounter the same struggles...and believe me, I know they will come. :)

    Thanks for sharing the tough times too. You're inspiring!

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  5. Laura LaLuzerne, Green Bay, WISeptember 7, 2007 at 8:18 PM

    I hear you! Don't be hard on yourself, we have all done it. My patience is not good. Dad is much better. I am a get up and get things done person. Dad and 11 year old daughter are "dilly dalliers". Can't stand it, so yes, I often yell. But, I apologize too and she knows my patience is something to be desired. Yes, kids are wonderful and will love us no matter what. As a psychologist, I am sure you see kids who are abused too, yet will defend/love their parents to the hilt.

    I love reading your blog. Your family is beautiful. We are LID 05/15/06, so have a way to go. Thank you for sharing your life with us all.

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  6. Thank you Christy for you wonderful post. Our DS was in 4th last year and it was a tough year with his new sister and him adjusting after being the only child for 9 years. We just wrote it off to that, but this year (5th) we have had to push him, already, and motivate him and when he doesn't do as I think he should or shows irresponsibility, I LOSE IT! I can say some harsh words and it is amazing how when I ask him, too, for forgiveness and apologize to him, he just looks at me and says, "It's okay, Mom, I forgive you and I am sorry I didn't obey" My heart melts and I just go off to myself and cry and thank God that he has such a forgiving and loving heart. Sometimes, he has been known to give me examples from the Bible about showing forgiveness. SLAP in my face. Thanks again for your post. I really needed it this week. LONG WEEK w/ school, grades, focusing.
    Mendy Parmer
    (RQ poster)

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  7. Are you sure that was your house and not mine you were talking about because I swear the same thing happen at ours:)
    I have a 4th grader and a 8th grader (and that is a whole new ball game)!!!
    Your boys must start to school later in the morning to have enough time for reading, TV and playing..our bus is here at 7:35 for my 4th grader (or you have some early birds:)
    I agree parenting is not a easy job but the hugs make it all worth it!!!

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