Does that mean everything is always perfect? That would be a big NO! Do we get on each other's nerves from time to time? Yes, yes, and yes!
From the time my children were little, people would comment on how lucky my husband and I were because our children behaved and were polite. While they meant it as a compliment, it always made my skin crawl. My husband and I weren't "lucky", we just invested a great deal of time into our family. This comment always made me sad for the person's child who was standing there listening. I believe there are no "bad" children, just uninformed parents.
As my children have grown, people will ask us questions regarding parenting. Comments are made about the behaviors of our children and our relationships with each child. Listed are the things my husband and I have done, and continue to do, in our family.
- We use if/then statements. Our children know they will receive a consequence for wrong and inappropriate behaviors. For example, we may say, "If you don't stop_________, then you may not use the iPad for a week." Our children know we will follow through with the consequence.
- We respect their feelings and we never make something about us. For example, my nine year old son didn't want me to attend his class Christmas party. He is my third child and wants to feel grown up. He wanted to hang out with his friends only. I completely respected his decision and request. Rather than getting my feelings hurt, I told him I understood and respected his choice. He gave me a big hug and said thank you. He didn't have to feel guilty. The party was about my child, not my appearance. When he got home that afternoon, he once again told me thank you for letting him be grown up and proceeded to tell me EVERYTHING about the party.
- We NEVER use sarcastic put down humor. I despise this type of interaction. There is nothing good that will ever come out of it.
- We spend a lot of time together. We enjoy playing family games, playing outside, etc. We let them know how important they are by the time we invest in building relationships and memories.
- We sit down at the same time each night and enjoy dinner together. We don't have the TV on. Some of our best conversations, confessions, and laughter comes from the dinner table.
- We have always had a schedule. I truly believe it makes children, and adults too, calmer. People know what to expect and when.
- We speak to them as we would want to be spoken to. Just because they are children, doesn't mean they should be talked down to or talked to rudely.
- We say we are sorry and ask for forgiveness when we are wrong....even though we are the parents. We listen when our children feel wronged and try and understand where they are coming from.
- We hug....a lot!!!!
- Most importantly, we put God first. Our children know that if it's not acceptable to God, it's not acceptable to us.
Here are some pictures of my sweet family. They melt my heart!
When Emmy was little we called her Boo. She reminded us of Boo from Monsters, Inc.
Barry always helps with math homework. Math is not my strong point!!
Luke can be so silly. He was cracking up about brushing his teeth the other night. :)
Barry really enjoys playing basketball with the boys.
Barry and Luke decided to jump into the hot tub last night. This picture melts my heart.
One of the best books I have read regarding parenting is "Parenting by The Book" by John Rosemond. He offers great biblical wisdom and truths.
Enjoy your families and remember to find something to laugh at each day.