So, I've only been at this parenting thing for 11.5 years now. I am most definitely NOT an expert..by any means. And, I don't have teens and I've never raised kids through the teenage years. I fail every day as a parent and still yell way too much.
I'm writing this post mostly for me, to remind myself of what I'm doing and where I'm going.
I've read a lot of parenting books and blogs....and I've seen all sorts of conflicting advice.
Spanking/no-spanking. Gentle discipline/first time obedience. Strict parenting/playful parenting/etc.
And, I've talked to friends about their relationship with their own parents or friends with adult children and those who have or haven't kept the faith.
And, honestly, I think that no matter what your parenting philosophy or how you discipline your kids....the keys to parenting are A & R.
I think this is vitally important. Children need to feel acceptance from their parents. They need to really believe that their parents accept them for WHO they are...their individual like and dislikes, talents and weaknesses. We may not always accept their behavior..but we always need to ACCEPT them..in all their weaknesses, quirks and strengths. They never should feel like they aren't good enough or are a disappointment. This doesn't mean we accept their behavior. This is why parenting is so hard...we need to show love and acceptance, while still teaching right from wrong.
It's hard because so many times as parents, we view our children as extensions of ourselves. We think that they REFLECT us. So, we're afraid to let them be themselves, because we're afraid that people will judge us. But, we need to let them be themselves..to pursue their own interests, let them dress how they want (within reason). While we have guidelines and rules, we need to realize that our children aren't us and will have different likes and dislikes and styles and tastes and that's okay...because they need to be WHO they are and we need to accept them. We don't get to choose our children...they are given to us from God...and we don't get to choose what they are like or who they are. Sometimes I think, this is what makes parenting so hard. Parenting is not about molding or training children into what we want them to be...but about accepting who they are and helping them be the person that God wants them to be.
Relationship is the second key. It's why we generally practice attachment parenting, although I don't in any way believe that is the only way to foster a good relationship with children. It is just the way that comes most naturally TO ME. And, really the key to attachment parenting is attachment...not a list of rules like co-sleeping and breastfeeding, those are mere ways of facilitating that attachment, that relationship. And, no matter what your parenting philosophy is, I feel like that relationship is key. It's important that parents have a good relationship with their children. And, this is a large part of the reason why we homeschool. I in no way believe that homeschooling is the only way to have a good relationship with children. It is just the way that works FOR OUR FAMILY. And, I think no matter how you school or parent, fostering a good relationship with children is key. Our children need to feel that we generally love them and like them. I think it's important for our children to feel that they can talk to us about anything or ask us anything and that we won't get mad or judge them. For our family, homeschooling is a way of fostering that relationship because it forces us to spend more time together...talking and learning, discussing and sometimes even debating. It helps me to really know my children. Of course, it's not the only way, but it's the way that works for us.
However, no matter how you parent or educate..I really believe that Acceptance and Relationship are the two most important factors.
And hey, hey, hey...since it just so happens to be Sunday...again...I'm linking up with FLAP for WIWS.
|You can't really see it...but this skirt has some very pretty embroidering on the bottom.. It's one of my favorites...so it's kinda weird that I hardly ever wear it.|