Saturday, January 31, 2009

Parenting 101

Before my first son was born, I read every kind of parenting book that I could find. I thought that I would be well prepared to handle whatever my new bundle of joy could throw at me. Well, now after having four kids, I know that as a mom I need to just go with my gut and try to enjoy the ride with all the bumps and detours along the way. Even with the best intentions, all honest parents must admit that we screw up sometimes. It truly is an on the job learning process. My biggest challenge is stepping back and remembering that my children's outbursts are part of their emotional development. Their emotions are still so raw and immature. I'm amazed at how certain situations can bring out such emotional reactions from my children. Their sensitivities are heightened and ready to be unleashed at any given moment. Just when I think that one of my kids must have "outgrown" that kind of reaction, a meltdown can occur that will make me wonder if these emotional eruptions will ever end. I need to heighten my sensitivity to what they must be feeling as they try and figure out their world from their perspective. As we all know, in the heat of a parent/child confrontation, that parental sensitivity usually is left at the door. I don't think that there is a set parenting practice for every kind of emotional outburst in children. I don't want to turn into a parenting robot when I discipline or speak with my children about inappropriate behavior. I always wish that I could reach them in that emotional zone where they are trapped during an argument. Those walls are high walls for a parent to climb. Bad attitude needs to be checked, but parental reason must lead the way. Easier said than done when all four kids are in extreme hyper mode and screaming at the top of their lungs.

Patience is a virtue that I'm pursuing daily. My emotional development continues too.

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