Being a parent is so hard.
I have realized that the secret to raising happy, compassionate, responsible, polite children is not what you do to your kids to train them or whatever, it’s based on the example you set as a person.
This thought scares me quite a bit. I mean it’s easy to read parenting books, to do this or don’t do that, and to judge other parents based on their choices. But it sure is harder to turn around and look at yourself. It’s way harder to hold yourself responsible for the example you set.
I’ve been doing some heavy reading and I’ve decided my goals as a parent (and as a human being) are to have compassion, show kindness, have humility, quiet strength, and self discipline.
I read that in the Bible. Apparently the Bible is an excellent parenting resource, though not in the way most people automatically think. Not in relation to those out of context verses about rods people are always quoting, oh no. That kind of parenting is *really* not for me. I’m talking about words of wisdom.
It’s so hard. Did I mention that? I am not automatically compassionate. I am not gentle enough. I am not cheerful no matter what. I don’t even really know how to be those things. I guess the first step is realizing that I need to work on it.
One night I was flipping through pages in the Message Bible (on my iPad, old religion meet new fangled technology) and I read that the wrath of man doesn’t bring forth the righteousness of God. That could mean a lot of things when applied to different situations, I know. But it makes me think of parenting, and it makes me think that getting angry with my kids does not make them behave the way I want them to. When I get angry I make my kids angry, and anger is nothing but destructive.
Then coincidentally I later read this in another book, the Duggar’s book…extremely weird how I’d never had this thought before then suddenly read it in a second place on the same night. Michelle Duggar goes on to elaborate noting that “A soft answer turns away wrath.”
Um…well…that’s practically genius. I am a yeller. Oh send help, my neighbors probably hear me yelling all the time. I just can’t help it. And my kids know it too. If I yell they are like, yeah whatever mom. Tyler does not yell and on the occasion he does the kids both are shocked and burst into tears. Michelle Duggar writes that she whispers instead of yelling and that gets her childrens’ attention. I keep trying this but then Rosie says, “What? I can’t hear you. Why are you whispering mom?”
Maybe if I keep doing it enough it will work. At least making myself whisper is calming and makes me reign in any angry emotions instantly. You have to be mindful to whisper. It’s much easier to automatically yell.
This Bible, what a ridiculous book. Every time Christianity is mentioned so many people roll their eyes then up and run away as fast as they can. I know it’s because 99.9% of the world’s Christians are idiots, believe me. I was forced to attend church my entire childhood. I could write you a book, but it’s not worth it the wasted emotion. I honestly do not know why people flock to church and sit in multimillion dollar buildings while praying for poor people. I will never be able to get over that.
I think that pretty much sums up why I don’t go to a brick and mortar church. I could write you a long list of well thought out reasons in addition, but that one sentence summary pretty much covers it.
The human race is quite flawed, isn’t it?
But back to parenting/being a role model of who you want your child to be:
Another night I was absent-mindedly flipping through the Bible on my iPad–I just love how you can flick the pages across the screen–while musing about parenting woes and this one passage literally LEAPT off of the page. My eyes just happened to fall on it or whatever.
Parts of it said:
“Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense.”
Dude. How many times as a mother have I sat at home and stewed over how I am always second place to everyone else’s needs? How much have I let that ruin my mood, my day, or my attitude towards my family? How many moments have I wasted getting angry in my mind over something stupid my husband has done? How many times have I just out of the blue snapped and started yelling instead of being even-tempered…
“And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic all-purpose garment. Never be without it.” (Colossians 3:12-14)
Did I say this is hard? I already said that a few times, right?
I mean, my kids are ok. They are great, actually. They are fairly well behaved. They’re especially well behaved for other people. It’s not like I am a failure or something.
I just need to work on myself. That is overwhelming.
I’ve got good inspiration though. Whenever I feel like giving up, I think of little eyes watching me and learning. What if I give them a negative, whining outlook they will carry with them the rest of their lives? I don’t want to teach them to yell or hit their children in the future. I don’t want to teach them to be super uptight or judgmental (of themselves or others.)
It’s a lot of responsibility, being a parent.