I am never doing this again. That is what he said. I asked what is he never going to do again? He replied watch the kids and work. I chuckled. It is called parenting. I have owned my own business for years but before that I worked virtually, and I had to run the house and take care of the kids while working with huge clients. I managed, and I did it. He can’t. I thought to myself what is the difference is it that only women can multitask?
If you think so, reply yes and tell me your favorite story. I love to hear from you!Continue reading
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Piyo Piyo USA but all opinions expressed here are 100% mine.
This year we are talking about how to save money. I have to say that as soon as my children got out of diapers I had a huge boost in my income. I figured out several creative ways to potty train, and I was able to potty train my children pretty quickly although I will say my first one was the hardest. The rest watched their big brother which confused my daughter who thought she could stand and aim. That was a mess I will never forget. I am sure we all have those moments. I look back at all the money we spent on diapers, wipes, and bribery and realized there was a better way to do all of that. These are my secrets that have been tried and tested and stamped with the approval of three fully potty trained kids later.Continue reading
Last week we chatted about my fear. You know we all have something that holds up back. I say recognize it and lets overcome it. You just can’t let fear control your life! Mind over matter or it doesn’t matter. I talked about how I wanted to work on being a better wife as my business grows, and now I am going to work through my goals as a mom.Continue reading
It is for freedom that we were set free, and Jesus came to set us free from punishment. He loved with a sacrificial love, and was ever present in times of need.
I have been invited to share a little bit about my parenting. I think it would help to first say that
I wasn’t always a gentle parent. It would also help to note that I can not talk about my parenting journey without talking about God.
I was often harsh and unkind with my children, to put it mildly. I was expecting my 4th and started to panic half way through the pregnancy as I discovered I had heart disease. I wasn’t sure how I would survive after this little boy was born into our family if things continued the way there were at the time. I was told to eliminate as much stress as possible. So, I began pouring myself into reading.
I read my bible and sought God’s answer to my plea of how to have peace in our home. And then I stumbled
across many wonderful websites and blogs and facebook pages on how to be a better parent. Peaceful parenting. Gentle parenting. The words sounded silly to me, and a bit insulting. I didn’t like that I was apparently not these things.
I struggled inside for a long several months until I finally found peace in my mind. God kept confirming for me that everything I was learning was aligning with scriptures, and that brought such comfort for me.
Previously I had been parenting out of fear, brokenness, lack of knowledge, expectations, and basically
flying by the seat of my pants. I was taught that children are to obey their parents. I mean, it’s biblical.It’s also something the world expects as well. It raises well-behaved and respectful members of society, right?
But as a Christian, I am not supposed to act like the rest of the world. The way I was parenting was exactly like everyone else. And that confused me. What was I doing wrong?
I have come to understand there is no room for fear in my role as a parent. Of course it’s there, but there is nothing good that can come from me being unhealthily fearful of how they will turn out in the future, and having fear of other people’s opinions of me didn’t help at all.
I was so tired of feeling guilt, shame, and endlessly needing to repent of my awful parenting,
so I sought a new way.
I came across a wonderful, scripture filled book. It was precisely what I was looking for. It had all the
Hebrew and Greek meanings to the common words of parenting and likely every parenting verse there is.
In her book ‘Jesus, the Gentle Parent’, L.R. Knost described some characteristics of Jesus.
“Gentle. Tender. Responsive. Available. Listening. Encouraging. Teaching. Guiding.”
So looking back today at where I once was, I can see such a change in perspective. It’s so refreshing to see where He has led me when I sought hard after Him. I made a list tonight, really quick, to get an idea of the common things people believe my kids will tun out like (and many others who parent like me). There’s also included in the list ways I used to parent, and then there’s the other side of the ‘fence’, which is where I am now, and it includes some of the goals and values I strive to reach.
There’s a CLEAR line drawn in the sand between the two. I am sure they can be seen as Positive and Negative perspectives of children and Peaceful Parenting. But among all of this, a few things seems to jump out at me.
Control. Fear. Bondage.
Have a look at this list for yourself and I am sure there will be a lot of disagreement. But I also am willing to bet that disagreement will come from those who were either permissive parents, who let their kids do whatever they wanted however they wanted without regard for anyone else. Or, it will come from people who are still in bondage, whether you know it or not. I was in bondage for 8 years to fear of not being in control of my kids and their behaviours and what they said and did. Then I realized it is not my job to control them. It is not my job to make them obey. I don’t want compliant kids. I want my kids to go into life questioning it and experiencing it and living it and not to be discouraged and torn down for errors and immature judgements.
So, here is my small list.
I believe strongly that we should do unto others as we would want them to do unto us. Now, that does not say treat others the way we expect to be treated if we did the same thing as them.
I also struggle to hold my tongue when people often comment that we need to toughen up and prepare our kids for the world so they can survive. What a harsh world that sounds like. I want to raise my kids up to bring gentleness into a harsh world and make it better. I also find it frustrating when I *know* who I was and who my kids were, and people still proceed to tell me after I have shared some of that with them, that I am messing them up and raising brats. Telling me not to judge. Well, I am judging who I used to be. If that looks like who you are, than that is your own conviction.
I was raised in violence. I was raised in fear and secrets and so much abuse and sickness and devastation. It molded me. Part of that is still with me in the sense I am rough around the edges. I feel like a phony when I speak in gentle tones and with soft words. It is foreign to me. But it grows on me as well.
It is by God’s grace that He has led me to where I am today. He gives endless chances until the day you die, so I want to give the same to my children. I believe in RADICAL GRACE. I do not believe there is any other kind actually. I have no insecurities in my parenting journey when I am conscious and striving to meet my goals. It is when I fall back into old habits that I feel God ushering me to be calm and quiet and to be quick to listen and slow to speak. So much of who I have become is wrapped up in the love I feel from God for me. His love is perfect. Mine is short. But focusing on Him, life becomes what it’s
meant to be.
For more Parenting tips, read these:
I recently posted something that happened in my family on my facebook page with an inquiry on do you believe in “tough love”? The conversation was quite lively and some people do not follow my rule for interacting on my page which is to attack the issue not the person. I did contact those individuals and asked them to apologize. I believe disagreement is perfectly acceptable but name calling and personal attacks are not. That is most likely because I understand to live in society there are underlying rules that must be adhered to in order to protect everyone. One of the rules I firmly believe is that violence begets violence. I strongly feel that my child does not have the right to hit and it is my job to make sure that my child does not hit anyone or anything.
This is what happened: You can read the whole transpired conversation on our Real Advice Gal facebook page <— if you would like. This was the statement I posted:
“So last night I removed my youngest from the family after two hours of naughty behavior. I made him sleep on the couch and he wasn’t allowed in any room that the rest of us were in. (We are currently in a hotel room with a kitchenette and one bedroom and a bathroom so I could see him) When he talked to me I ignored him. This morning he told me he would follow my rules which included using hands for helping, speaking kindness, and doing what I asked by the second time (growth opportunity). Do you also believe in tough love?
This is a great post written by Karla who is a writer on our team.https://madamedeals.com/karlas-korner-ten-lessons-i-learned…/ ”
These are some of the comments that had me floored and even angry:
“My child is not permitted to hit either, and I’d like her to listen to me but the fact is she is 4 years old and sometimes she doesn’t want to listen, maybe because she’s feeling sassy and maybe because she’s “too busy” doing kid things. I can’t punish her for that because as a 26 year old woman sometimes i don’t want to listen to her or my husband or my friend, etc. It is her right to not listen if she doesn’t want to. She is a human being as much as anyone else. You earn respect by giving respect. And it certainly isn’t respectful of you to be so mean to someone who trusts you so implicitly. You are damaging your child by making him feel so small and unwanted. That is not “tough love” as you so affectionately call it, it’s bullying. Sounds like you need to grow up and give your little one a much needed hug.”
If you do not discipline your child for hitting then you have taught them that:
1) Hitting works (They can get what they want if they hit.)
2) Hitting is an appropriate way to resolve issues
3) The rights of others are not as important as theirs (My other children were abused when my son hit them so if I allowed it to continue because my child felt “the need” to do it then I was permitting the abuse of the other children.)
4) Violence is a strategy . (I believe in peaceful resolutions and violence is an absolute last resort.)
5) You have also taught them not to use their words. You have taught them not to implement any of the other strategies for conflict resolution because it is easier to hit someone and take the toy then to talk to a person and ask for the toy.
If you do not correct this behavior you have failed your child.
I was told because I isolated my child that:
“What you did falls under abuse guidelines for CPS. It’s neglectful and mean spirited and quite frankly very childish. You are the grown up and you are acting like a two year old. I feel sorry for your child that he doesn’t have a mother that shows love in her discipline. Disgusting.”
My response is simple. Love is shown by teaching your child how to act so they can not only function in society but thrive. I removed my child from the group because he didn’t want to stop hitting. That is a logical consequence. If you can’t follow the rules you are removed. That is why there is something called jail. It is for people who can’t follow the rules of society. I did not endanger my child by placing him on the couch to sleep. I most likely protected him because if he hit his older brother one more time then I am sure my oldest would have hit him back. You can only take being hit so many times before you will strike back. I also protected him by teaching him that hitting isn’t acceptable. I taught him violence does not work. If more people taught their children violence didn’t work we would have less people in jail. When I mentioned tough love it was in reference to ignoring his pleas to sleep with his brother. He lost that chance and once it was gone it was gone. He could cry away that wasn’t going to change anything. I am very clear with my children in regards to expected behaviors. I use phrases like if you want this then this needs to happen.
This comment was one that resonated with me:
“There are appropriate ways to seek attention and inappropriate ways to do it. By ignoring or removing at the time of the inappropriate behavior you reinforce that this action is unacceptable. Once the child’s complies, then you can re-engage with the child thus showing them that proper behavior can help them accomplish their goals. As parents we often miss many of the early signs that our children need something and they act out as a consequence. Our responsibility as parents is to mold them and shape them in a way that will show them we love them, care for them, and will be there for them while also teaching them that tantrums and other inappropriate behavior is an unacceptable way to conduct oneself.”
The other thing I would like to note and challenge is that the people who had the most issues with my resolution to my child’s hitting problem were the most aggressive toward others on the page. I am not sure why that was. They felt the need to personally attack people. I can only surmise that they felt their ideas were more important and more justified then the opinions of others. They felt that the way to be heard was to lead with “violence” not physical but verbal violence. I deleted name calling posts and I had to deal with several readers that direct messaged me because they were upset with the response of some of the readers on their posts. I understand the need for diversity in opinions. I like to be challenged, taught, and introduced to new ways of thinking but there is a way to do so where you are acknowledging the opinions of others. I see that being kind and loving toward your child is important but in my house a hit doesn’t not deserve a kiss and a hug. It deserves a why did you do that? What should you do instead? If you do it again then this will happen. If they do it again then they are met with discipline.
Also as a note I hold a Master’s Degree in Education. I have completed training in Kingian non- violence , Ruth Charney Teaching Children to Care , Lee Canter’s Assertive Discipline program, Non Violence Restraints, and I have attend classes in ABA. I used to teach in the hardest classroom by choice and was able to turn around several children that had major behavior challenges by presenting clear rules and clear consequences. (This statement is a fact I have run into several of my students over the years who have told me that what they learned in my class put them on the right path. The classroom I used to teach in were Special Education so I firmly believe each child has the ability to learn at their level appropriate behaviors for society. The strategies, implementation, and work involved to teach these skills will differ but it is not only possible it is probable with clear and consistent strategies)
Before we move on to a whole new topic discipline isn’t punishment please read up on the difference prior to making comments on this post. You can read this it will help. Why Discipline isn’t Punishment. I do hope the parents that consider hugging their child when they hit will come over a little more to my way of thinking because hitting should not be rewarded with hugs and kisses.
I can’t say you will enjoy reading this post. I am also sure I will get hate mail by the hundreds. I am just being honest. We have a duty as a parent to do what is best for our children. If your child is obese you are failing. You are not teaching them to make healthy choices. You may not even be providing them with the opportunity to make healthy choices. I am judging. I am concerned. I should be. I am worried that your child will have these habits forever. I am frankly worried that America is getting fatter and fatter and the quality of life people enjoy will soon be replaced by diseases and health conditions due to weight and inactivity.
It is fine to be heavy yourself. I mean you are an adult. It is not okay to allow your child to be obese. I opened this debate within my writing team. I was told I was shaming the parents. I sure am; they deserve to be ashamed. It is our job to do what we can for our children because that is our role, to provide our children with the best life possible. I truly believe having a child that is active and makes responsible decisions when eating is a skill that parent teaches. You teach this as a role model, you teach this as the food purchaser, cook, and the person who educates your child about health.
I was told kids are obese because of the school. How? Does the school make them eat the wrong food in the wrong quantity? The school provides balanced meals. The school provides breakfast and lunch to children that can’t afford it and to those that can. How about you say no to the ice cream treat after lunch or if your child gets stuff that they shouldn’t then why not pack them a lunch. The school provides recess, health class, and physical education. The school does more “parenting” than it should.
I was told some people are born that way. I have never seen a “heavy” baby that could barely breathe because moving was a struggle. I have however seen parents who give their child food as a reward. Parents who have more junk in the house than healthy food. I have seen kids with soda instead of water. I have seen doughnuts before school instead of fruit, dairy, grains. I have seen five cookies being given to a child when the serving size is two. Yes, genetics plays a role in how what you eat impacts you, but it isn’t a reason to be unhealthy.
I was told it is cheaper to buy crap. I am calling “food” crap if it doesn’t contain ingredients that I can pronounce or find in the aisles of a supermarket, meaning things that are “altered”. I was told it is cheaper to buy “crap” than it is to buy healthy food. Well, chips cost $1.00- $3.99, I can buy carrots for $1.00. We have to think long term here not just the right now. I also wonder and correct me if I am wrong why aren’t we spending more money on what we put in our bodies over the cable that comes through our TVs or the car we drive or the house we live in. Have any of you heard of growing food? It is possible and cheaper. The cost argument is bull and you know it. Cost can be measured over time. If you feed your child “crap” it will cost them their health in the end.
This a fact, a kid that lives on junk will not perform as well in school or sports than a kid that has a healthy balanced diet. That is why teachers ask you to feed your child a well balanced meal before testing. It is true put “crap” in get “crap” out. We need to teach our children portion control and healthy choices.
Do you make them? What would happen if you made better choices? Would it impact your children? The answer is you are your child’s first teacher and the best teacher and you deserve to be healthy.
I was told kids do not exercise. I agree. The question is why? I was told parents ask them to stay inside because they are working. The response I have is to take them out on the weekend. How about signing them up for sports and organizing a carpool. I had a single mother who worked and we were active. How about a ten minute walk in your neighborhood. That is ten minutes of quality time not only exercising with your child but talking and showing them you care. You can figure something out. If you decide to make it happen, it will happen. I was told we eat fast food. Well, folks you drive them there. You pay for it. You make the choice to feed your child that. How about meal planning? I can make a meal that is healthy for five for under $10. I have several that I make and then freeze and throw them in the crockpot. In fact you can throw a chicken in the crockpot and the last 30 minutes put green beans on top. It is healthy and awesome. How about if you have to eat fast food, you do not super size it? I was told a salad is more expensive than a hamburger. Yes, the up front cost is more but in the long run it is cheaper. The point is a hamburger here and there at a fast food joint is fine. The hamburger and the fries for lunch that go with fried food for dinner and the doughnut for breakfast makes you one big pile of crap. You are what you eat right?
I recently got a bike so I could go on bike trips with my kids.You can see my fab review of my Schwinn Bike. No, I haven’t ridden a bike in 20 years so I figured what the heck I can do this. You can too. You need to be a part of the solution. Excuses are for “losers”. Have you ever heard a winner make excuses. They just work harder. I learned that at the gym. I have been going 3-5 days a week for almost a year. I put on ten pounds and I feel awesome. Yes, you can be underweight and unhealthy. Muscles rule! Well, even better than that I can keep up with my kids! I feel great and my kids see me exercising. I am modeling healthy choices. I am showing them how important it is to be good to yourself. Why not exercise with them? How about getting them involved in sports? How about having food in the house that is healthy. How about making meals that will give them energy? How about we be honest and accept responsibility. If your child is obese then you need to help them make the change that will impact their life. I am concerned over what I am looking at the beach this weekend. This is something we as parents need to take ownership of and try to resolve. We need to work on our food choice, portion control, and exercise. These necessities begin at home. It is your job to help your child by buying the right food and helping them make healthy lifestyle choices. The excuses need to end here.