Monday, July 9, 2012

If I perish, I perish

Now that I have your attention, this blog is on child rearing, and the title is perfect! Many times you will feel like this is too hard, it hurts too much, totally overwhelmed!

I had a young mother ask me to blog on raising my children, I first laughed inside, if she only knew, but then took the thought more serious with my own children raising my Grand babies, how did I do it?  How did I live through it? More important how did they live through it?  Would I change anything now?  YES!

I have six grown children and 15 grand children, my children are all different except for one thing, they know about how faithful their God is, they were taught the ways of the Lord in my life and now in theirs. We as children and adults learn by example.

I had Alicia when I was 19, then had Sean at 21, then Alex at 23, now in this blog do not go by exact dates because I am 59 today, it is hard to remember the exacts.  I was a young mother and very overwhelmed with parenthood, Alicia was like a toy to me, I adored her, learned on her, I was way to strict with her, if I could go back and undo things it would be how strict I was with my children, I was taught kids are to be seen not heard, that they are a reflection of their parent, in some ways they are, but your children are their own selves, let them be them. Let them be heard, never hush a child up in expressing them self, UNLESS it is with disrespect to authority. I see so many parents ignore their children or totally over react, when we over react we wound a child's spirit, been there done that many times, then it is hard to heal, if you continue to do it to the child that will shut down from you, just as you do from people who wound you.  Then you do have a problem, they will act out in bad behavior, because deep down they need your approval at a young age to know they are ok.  Most children are so forgiving. Now on being your reflection, I pray you get that right out of your mind, our children will be who they are and do some things that will make you look really bad as a parent, but the best advice on that is, only perfect children have perfect parents, only perfect parents have perfect children, so you see no one is perfect in this thing called parent hood. I remember a person going to get out of the ministry due to the fact their child was getting a divorce, made them look like less of a parent, glad they thought that one through, still in ministry today and very anointed and called by God. You as a mother do set and example to your children, but they do not always follow it.  I have always told my children that I am trusting God to heal them of my mistakes just as He  healed me of my childhood. 
With Sean I can so see so many mistakes on my part and his, if I could do one thing over it would be NEVER ask was he good when someone kept him, he learned that I expected him to be bad, mistake on my part, if you have a child that is a challenge then use praise with them, do not say they are a brat, or what did he do this time, or was he bad????? Yes he will be all those things IF he continues to hear that, he will believe that about him self.  My precious Sean struggles today with self image, he has come along way in finding who he is, how wonderful he is as a person, but if I ask him today he would say his brothers were the good ones,  our children are so different, each has to be met at their place of identity. It is so hard to have a child that is strong willed and walks the line all the time, to test you by putting one toe over and look at you as they do it.  If I could go back in time I would for sure pick my battles, if possible I would not over react because I was tired or having a bad day, I would let a lot of things slide, I now understand the importance in picking your battles.  I used so much of my energy wanting to be the perfect mother and have perfect children, I made them a nervous wreck, if you want  your children to be well rounded then you be, laugh when needed at your self and them, teach them about grace when they do something and you should correct them, if its been a hard day, then it is the perfect time to say, you deserve to be corrected and punished, but I can see this is not your heart to act this way, just as God sees our heart, even though you need punished, I am going to say lets forget and forgive this and start over, this is what God does for us when He died on the cross for the things we do bad........hug and will see the day change for you.  When a child is aways being corrected they will rebel, just as you would if your boss was always on you for something, watching every move you make....its our sin nature to want to rebel.  As a parent you may think you can get that out of them but that is a work of the Holy Spirit, YOU PRAY, you will realize this when you spank over and over for the same thing, that battle belongs to the Lord,  it may be better to stop and pray instead of that fourth spanking, You be diligent, be consistent, so your children will not walk on egg shells and be a nervous wreck.  I did not learn this till April came a long, I was a screamer with my children, wish I wasn't but I was, I think it released stress in me, not sure why I was and I hated it, I remember at a conference one time God touching me so strongly, after that the screaming was gone,  I was calmer as a mother in that area:)  Alex was a easy baby and child, although I did shed some tears in raising him, he was always a thinker so if he did do something wrong he had decided it was worth it, because he was always so easy, I failed to see when he was in need of correction a lot of times, I over corrected the others on his behalf.  It is easy to focus on the one who causes the most problems, which is the worst thing for that child.  Hannah and Jared were raised different, I had matured as a parent, I was not near as strict, thank the Lord I had about stressed my self to the max in that area, let your children be children, remember their attention span when young it is about their age limit, so do not ground them all day when they are two or three, this only sets you up for heat break and failure, they WILL forget and you will be correcting them all day......would you want that?  If they are under five years old, then maybe 30 minutes is adequate for a five year old to be in trouble.  When we make decisions out of our adult mind we only hurt our self's, set our children up to fail, I have been taught it is our will against theirs, so not true to me, if your in this battle with your child then you will bull dog them into obedience you will will always win when they are children, you are bigger!  It is us being consistent with them, if you say it, do it, not next time they do it, do it now, they will learn not to push you until you are red in the face coming at them, or hollering at them, they will respond the first time.  I learned this when Sean went to the ranch to live, children need to know your response time, keep it the same every time, if you are too tired and exasperated to do this, then time your self out, do this by having the child play in their room and you getting alone with you.  When this will not work is when the parent is on overload, anyone on overload will take it out on those around them, first cause you need a mommy break, do not feel guilty, take it, the best mother is one who will take care of her self so she can be the mother she needs to be, I had a friend and we took each others children for the day, so the other could have from 9-4 without children, we did this one day a week, this way the children played with others but in a familiar setting, it was hard sometimes, my friend had twins, but Hannah and Jared were like twins, just on that day have it planned out like your running a day care, then totally enjoy your day off!  April was raised totally different, I say its because the others wore me down, I could see things as I do now with my grand babies, the house was not that important,it is a reflection on me but who cares???  Who cares if her clothes are not perfect and her hair is not perfect and she is not perfect in public!  I finally got the picture of raising children, let them be who they are, enjoy their personality instead of shutting it down, April did not get many spankings, she did not get corrected when she spilt her milk, I realized it was a accident, I did not scream  I told you that would happen! Now clean it up!!! as I huffed and puffed and let it totally make me a wreck, really over spilt milk????? So how did I change?   I guess by realizing what is important in my children's lives, the most important is my relationship with each of them, for them to always know how much I love them no matter what my come and what my go, I am always proud of them, not some of the things they do sometimes, but of who they are and who they are becoming.  Some how in spite of me, I have had to ask for forgiveness many times from my children God has been faithful to His promise to me, in raising   them the best I knew in the ways of the Lord, once I knew the Lord, ( 1976)  before that was another blog:(   Best advice I can give, is will it matter a year from now, if so its worth correcting?  I never put up with a sassy mouth, or disrespect, still don't:) BUT if I were to correct it today it would be in a different way:) I guess look at how you respond to correction, then treat them as you wanted to be treated as a child.  All children longed for the approval of their parents, they need it to validate they are ok in who they are, if they get it they grow into self confident teens, not being swayed to and fro with so many decisions they are faced with. At the end of the day it sums up like this, if this was a trying day for you as a mother why?   If you have been on your children all day long, why?  Make sure you pick your battles, if they are totally pushing every button then please take a break, they need it you need it, tomorrow will be a better day:) The next best advice I know is you cannot go back and undo things, you can trust the Lord to heal you and them, you can make things right if you have hurt them, children are so forgiving, UNTIL you continue to wound them, then they will grow up as teens, you will not have the closeness you did and will wonder why, what is wrong with them, well, think it though, would you want to be your friend? I know as mothers we are told we are not their friend but their mother, which is true, but you will always want that friendship as they gown older, that they feel safe in confiding in you, they want to come home from a date and lay in bed with you and talk about it all, or a party they have been to, if you want open communication with your children as they grow into teens then you have to earn it when their young. I had lost some with Alicia when she was a teen and Gary Smally on focus on the Family suggested when this happens to let them know they can tell you anything and will not be corrected, this lets them confess their sins, bring it all to the light so Satan will not have a hold on them in sweet Alica got the legal pad out:)  I had her write down anything that she needed to tell me or that was bothering her, there would be NO correction, even though as I read it I thought I have to correct this, I did not correct any of it, prayed with her, I then knew how to pray for her and her struggles, she was free. this made a big difference, you will know you child better when you do this and they will confide in you. Our battle is the Lord's, you can think it is your parenting that helps them be who they are, that they got saved as a child because you took them to church, prayed with them, which is all good BUT God does not have Grand Children, your child belongs to HIM, he saves them, convicts them, gives them the strength to walk away when needed, they will learn by their mistakes just as you did, and God will be faithful to you as He is to them. The very best thing you can do for your child is always respect their father,  show affection to their father in front of them,do not discuss his faults with them ( hard one)  let them know you struggle to be good too,  if your a single parent, same applies, I know in divorce things are said about each spouse, you will do your self a big favor in letting your child be secure if you do not let your child in on your pain in the divorce, they are children their daddy hung the moon and their mother is the best so let them feel that security.  EVEN when the parent did not hang the moon and is not the best:)  Let your children know when their is a struggle, pray about it, then they will see God answer their prayers, this needs to be age appropriate.  Do not let your child hood hang ups pass down to your children, let them develop their own:)  All in all your a good mother wanting to be the best, best way you can do that is take care of you, if your not taken care of you have nothing to give and motherhood is a hard job, takes it all out of you some days, I remember the days, still have them just in a different way:) Enjoy your babies, laugh, dance, play, they grow up way too soon! This blog is not meant to correct you or make you feel bad about your self, if you see areas of change that needs to be made ask the Lord to help you, He will, He loves you just like you are, if you need encouragement call me, once you hear how I failed so many times you will feel good about your self! I had friends say they had a bad day would call we would talk they would say I feel so much better about my day since I heard yours:)  We are not perfect and will make mistakes in rearing our babies, one thing to hang onto LOVE NEVER FAILS!!!!!!  I hang onto that cause I sure love all my babies!!

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