Thursday, January 9, 2014

The "Ultimate Mom": Pendulum Parent?

Chatper One: Could Your Approach To Motherhood Be Giving You Grief?

This chapter begins with a "story" about a boy and a scuptor...
A little boy passes a scuptor in an Italian square each day on his way to school. Seeing the scuptor painstakingly chisel away at the huge block of marble was such a familiar scene that the boy hardly noticed him. Seven months passed, and one day the boy realized that the chiseling he was accustomed to hearing had stopped. Curious, he looked up to see the finished masterpiece: a sculpture of a magnificent goddess. Awed, he asked the scuptor, "How did you know she was in there?" The sculptor smiled and answered, "Why she was in there all along. All I did was remove the excess marble that was hiding her".
The point to this story here, was to express that this chapter is about removing the excess. The bad habits and triggers that are hiding the "Ultimate Mom" within.

The biggest problem I recognised is the "Pendulum Parenting" that I have had going on. Something I didnt recognise until I read an exact example of what has been happening in my household.

Basically, it is described as swinging back and forth from being too soft and too heavy handed with the discipline of my kids. Essentially, It explains (and I hate to admit it is true) that I will hand out strict, unflexible boundaries with a dictator like approach, to feeling guilty and over compensating by following up with a too soft approach that allows my kids to walk all over me.

Obviously consistancy and confidence is an issue....but the major melt down (besides confusion) is a break down of respect. This is how this chapter defines the use of respect:

Respect Them - Model what you want to see by respecting your children and expecting respect in return
Encourage Them - Without encouragement a child's spirit may never shine
Support Them - When we support our children fully, we give them the opportunity to learn from thier own mistakes.
Positive Attitude - The easiest ways to remain positive are to do what you love, get enough sleep, and show gratitude for all that you already have.
Encourage You - Moms need encouragement too! Surround yourself with good friends, be your own best friend, and take the time to recharge.
Care Enough To Let Go - Letting go of unreasonable expectations, negative comments and the little things that ultimately dont matter is the most respectful thing you can do.
Train - Training is what gives our kids a chance to develop essential life skills, gain self confidence and ultimately feel respected.

Chapter Tips:

  1. Children want to belong. Give them opportunities to contribute to the family. This will boost their self-esteem and give you the little bits of help that you crave.
  2. Doing things for your children that they are capable of doing themselves robs them of the opportunity to learn, and grow.
  3. Treating your children with respect will guide and teach them to treat you with the same level of respect.
Taking Action:
  • What do I already do well as a Mom? I definately expect Kalynn to contribute as a member of the family. She has chores that she must do each day and is rewarded with a weekly allowence. I also teach her life skills. The best example I can give is cooking lessons. Several nights a week, she pulls a chair up to the stove with me and we have a cooking lesson of everything from how to make water boil faster, using oil to keep noodles from sticking or smelling spices to see what flavors will taste good together. And I encourage her in everything that she does.
  • What can I do today that will make a difference for my child? I am ashamed to say that respecting my children equal to my expectations of her returned respect needs improvement. The phrase do as I say not as I do comes to mind. That is now how I want to raise my children. Note Taken!
  • What do others say I do well as a parent? I have a lot of patience, sometimes too much. I always encourage their independence and to keep trying when they are frusterated and want to give up. I always show them how much I love them. I am supportive of thier endevours and their accomplishments.

This week, I am going to start working towards stoping the pendulum and teaching respect by showing equal respect. This is going to be a challenging week, but with the help of my family and friends and some good coffee, I beleive that I can begin this journey to becoming a better Mom for my girls!

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