Saturday, July 11, 2009

seeking...

Cottage Road Designs

A couple of weeks ago my mom gave me a copy of The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian. A while back I read another one of her books (praying wife for short) but I had forgotten about the parent one. She couldn't have given it to me a better time! Thanks mom!!

Two areas have been on my mind a lot in the past few months: 1) being a mama to a son and 2) finding the right way to discipline the little pumpkin.

When I was pregnant with Hudson (wow - I can't believe that's in the past tense now!) I thought and thought of what it would be like to parent a son as opposed to a daughter. I worried about doing it right. I think mothers of sons have a unique opportunity AND responsibility to raise their sons in a way that teaches them those very important "love languages" if you will that they will one day need to become the kinds of loving husbands and fathers the world needs more of. So I've been praying about this one...for guidance and instruction on how to be the best mama to Hudson.

The little pumpkin is truly smart beyond her years. She is so sweet and full of love and zest for life! It amazes me the things she says and comes up with. She's indeed a little sponge and picks up on things quickly. She's also strongwilled and has a temper...wonder where that came from??? Yup, no excuses - she got it from both Lance and I :) I do it all by myself is her favorite phrase (can you tell she's 2? ha, ha, ha)

I know discipline choices are very personal decisions each with pros and cons. I don't believe in spanking for a ton of reasons I won't get into here. We've been using time out but it doesn't always seem to do the trick. There have been times when she's cried (LOUDLY I may add) because she doesn't want to get OUT of time out???!!! And before you start thinking that our time out spot must be a fun place, let me say it's in the corner of a wall right off our kitchen with no distractions or fun things. We've also started the "if you do X, you will lose X" (like reading books or watching Curious George) and yes, we lather on the positive reinforcement too whenever possible. Open to new suggestions - any ideas??? So as you can tell I've been praying (a lot) about this one...about how to discipline her in a way that helps her to learn and grow.

A while back I read something along the lines of "you love your children unconditionally, but if you want others to love them like you do, you have to teach them right from wrong and not make excuses for their behaviors; you have to teach them manners and respect and self-control". I wish I remembered where I read this 'cause I'd like to re-read the whole thing, but I can't remember. Manners are so important, truth is I can't stand seeing rude children. I really think parents have done them a disfavor when they let them get away with being rude and just excuse their behavior. So we're trying our hardest to raise Grace (and Hudson too) to be polite and considerate and mindful. The first two she's really good about, the last one is a work in progress because being two and being mindful somehow go like oil and water.

So back to the book...one particular paragraph in the chapter about releasing your children into God's hands really struck a chord with me. It reads, "We can't be everywhere. But God can. We can't see everything. But God can. We can't know everything. But God can. No matter what age our children are, releasing them into God's hands is a sign of our faith and trust in Him and is the first step toward making a difference in their lives. Prayer for our children begins there." Lately, everytime I feel like my patience meter is running close to empty I think back to that passage and it helps me put things in perspective. And although we may still be struggling with the same behaviors, it gives me more patience and fuel to keep going. It helps me remember that I'd rather put in the hard work now when they're still little and reap the rewards later. It makes me feel better. Which is a good thing...a really good thing for a sleep deprived mama of two sweet munchkins.

4 comments:

The Venturas said...

I'm re-reading that book again as we speak. It is so wonderful, I'm glad you found it. I find so many scripture in there. Good luck!

Virginia said...

My dear daughter:
I am so glad that you are enjoying that book and finding it very useful. Many times throughout motherhood you will find that prayer is the only way to go. God always listens. Pray unceasingly. I'm very proud of the way you are raising your kids. You can always count with my help.
Love, Mom

Angel said...

I was just talking with my sister-in-law about that book, this week-end. I've only read the "praying wife" one and still need to buy the "praying parent" one.

And the "love languages" book has been very helpful with my kids too. Making sure they feel loved the way they best receive it and not just the way I tend to show it.

It does feel different to be raising a son now, after girls. I can't quite put my finger on it yet (maybe as they get older), but the responsibility just feels different.

One of the things I worry about is how to encourage my 3 to grow up being good friends and loving toward each other so that they stay close as adults. I grew up without siblings in the house so I don't have personal experience with any of that.

I think half the battle is being intentional, consistent and prayerful about parenting.

You are doing a great job! Be encouraged that we all struggle and that God does not give us more than we can handle (with his help).

Jessica said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the book!

Angel~ ditto on the no siblings growing up :) ~ new area here as well. And I'm glad to know I'm not the only one that feels a different responsibility toward raising a son...maybe because it's new territory for us??...I feel like I not only have the normal parent responsibilities, but an extra responsibility to his future wife to do it right, you know? LOL, he's only 3 wks. old and already I'm "marrying him off" :) ha, ha, ha!