December 10, 2010

Life Lesson

Lots of people say things they will do when they reach a new stage in life without really knowing what they are talking about. I am no exception. I always said that I wouldn't be one of those overbearing moms who was a slave to her children's nap and sleep schedule, wouldn't overburden other people with rules for dealing with my kids, wouldn't get too worried about every little problem or hurt that my kids encountered. In most ways, I have followed my own "wouldn'ts". However, I've found that to be my problem.

Flexibility in parenting my kids, especially in some of the ways I've been flexible, isn't working. I've ended up being overwhelmed, undermined and submarined in ways I thought I was avoiding by not burdening myself or my kids with unnecessary rules. Live and learn.

So, I'm on a tightening up mission. Making (and enforcing) some new rules, and trying to decide how to communicate these rules to other people who take care of my kids. It is going very well with K. I've found that he craves more rules. Without them, he feels like he should be in charge of everything, then is overwhelmed by the power he thinks he has. It is very curious to watch.

Last week we changed the duties on his "Responsibility Chart" (a magnetic board with cool magnets that we got at Target) and he helped me choose which responsibilities he will have. Then he did a wonderful job of trying to do all of them. He seems so much happier with this arrangement! I hope that we can keep it up and that this change will make a long term difference.

There's nothing like confronting your shortcomings to make you feel like a failure, though. Between this rule thing and the making and sticking to routines that I've been attempting with the sleep training, it sure shows me that these things don't come naturally to me. I'm fine with ordering my own life, but I struggle when I have to do it for other people, even my own children to a degree. Maybe once we've repeated the new rules and stuff enough, it will get a bit easier!

1 comment:

  1. I think you guys are fantastic parents. Especially for the fact that you can step back and re-evaluate things, recognize necessary change, and rearrange goals to make a smoother running family. Sure sounds to me like you haven't failed at anything. All vital essentials to raising a beautiful family...just like you are.