I Was A Parenting Wreck
Nearly three years ago my parenting was a TOTAL wreck. Without realizing it I adopted a lot of thinking that compromised my role as a mom. I lost sleep trying to figure out how to help my son. Little did I know that I was the one that needed the help!
A friend, the kind that stands the tests of time and changes, listened to my disconcerted heart and made a suggestion that changed my family forever. Not only did she suggest I read this book by Jon Rosemond, she placed and order and sent it to my while we were on the phone.
Transforming Our Family
Our culture places unnecessary pressure on parents, particularly in the geographical regions I parented in. How a child behaves and performs is considered a direct result of the parents. Little responsibility is placed upon a child for his actions. I wore this pressure like a fully weighted backpack and added more of my own.
I didn’t want to perpetuate hurt and dysfunction I experienced. I didn’t want his heart to have the same chips mine did from being caught in the shadows. Never feeling adequate let alone important took leaves a heart to wander. Fortunately for me my heart wandered towards God (and an obsession with the outdoors). Too many peers wandered into trouble, heartache and even death.
My efforts to avoid this left me ragged. “If only I did (or did not)….my son would (or would not)….” I put everything on my plate though I believed I held him accountable. I walked on eggshells and took responsibility for everything until I read this book.
The book Arrived
When The Well Behaved Child arrived I had the kids took extra long naps and I devoured this book. My heart broke as I saw for the first time my role facilitating wrong behaviors.
Because I believed the lie that my kids would be “wonderful if only I did XYZ” I was shocked when I read that kids are little brats and need a mom and dad to teach and direct them out of it.
That sounds so mean doesn’t it? It certainly caught me off guard and caused me to contemplate my personal philosophy. I expected my child to behave in a robotic way; I expected him to respond fully surrendered to my will rather than his. (That’s a tough lot for a strong-willed child!)
Calming the Storm
The techniques offered in this book were so practical and easy to apply and monitor I began to see changes that fueled my heart. I didn’t realize how much extra weight I carried until I transferred responsibility to my son and put the burden of his actions upon him. I won’t lie, it was the most difficult change I’ve ever made as a parent (and I’m sure more are to come). Allowing your child to bear the weight of all consequences is rough, especially when the child forfeights special events.
We can’t control our kids but in the safety of childhood, when consequences are nominal, we have an opportunity and responsibility to teach our kids the true meaning of making choices.
With Parenting the Goal is Never Perfection, but Character
Desperately I wanted to free my kids from the burden of the impossible: Perfection. Now older, both my kids will tell you perfection is not our end game because it is impossible this side of heaven. When report cards arrive my husband and I praise the academics, but put the emphasis on the character section. Character is what God cares about and character is what I world desperately needs.
Maybe you’re in denial like I was. Jon Rosemond, author of The Well Behaved Child, put out a fabulous column this month.
If you are, DON’T STRESS!
Please please please head to your library or amazon to pick up a copy of The Well Behaved Child. This $11.31 will get you further than more expensive counseling now and down the road. I know because in desperate efforts our family tried it all.
***That’s not to discount counseling rather to give you an opportunity to try some methods that might be helpful before taking that step.***
Share this with friends and talk about it! Kids are strong and they need parents stronger than the culture pressing in on them!
For the sake of parents and kids alike, fuel the conversation!
**My kids are not perfect, one still has significant challenges, but the tools gained, particularly through this book, aid our family.