Monday, February 21, 2011

Instructions Not Included.....

I am going to take a rather tentative step onto my soapbox - tentative because I have no idea what kind of response I will receive once I get there and speak my peace, but here goes....first of all, the disclaimers.... I am not a perfect parent raising a perfect child, the truth of the matter is that we are both so far from anything in that realm that it truly is laughable. SO keeping that in mind allow me to proceed. Those of you who know me personally know that I struggle from time to time with behavior issues - not just my own - Wonderboy can be a pill ;-) We have tried many of the 'techniques' commonly prescribed as well as a few of our own creative invention. Some have worked better than others, some for just a season and some were nothing more than a waste of effort and brain cells. Rearing offspring is no easy undertaking and certainly not for the faint of heart - at least not in the this household. There are as many parenting theories and approaches as there are kids to try them out on it seems, kind of like eating trends there seems to always be some new trend that is bigger, better, shinier. I tend to be an old fashioned kind of gal - you know the 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' school of thinking. This has more or less served me quite well overall. I have to confess however that there have been times when the 'shiny new thing' has captured my attention and wooed me away from good old fashioned common sense. Sadly, this has been true in my parenting journey.
Well after many tears, MUCH prayer and countless days of feeling alone, hopeless and quite honestly ready to turn in my Mom card, I finally reached a point where I had had enough and the line was drawn in the sand. Failure was not an option, so I did what any self respecting Mother does in this day and age - I did a web search. It was during that process I came across the book that I am currently 4 chapters into, It Takes a Parent by Betsy Hart. Betsy is my kind of girl - a no nonsense, common sense, straight shooter who says it plain and doesn't sugar coat it - I liked her right away and knew that she had something to offer in the pages of her book. Now keep in mind - I am only 4 chapters in and I have another 9 to go, but I like what I have read so far because it makes sense. She makes no promises, no get rich quick schemes and in doing this puts some power and authority back where it belongs - in the hands of the parents!! Imagine that? The big light went on for me when she shared an incident where she was getting some less than desirable attitude from her one of her daughters and the interaction that followed....this was where my moment of ah ha came in "And one thing I didn't do was to ask her why she was behaving the way she was. Kids almost never know why they do the upsetting things they do. Let's face it, that's true for many adults too. It's often up to us parents to help interpret for our kids what's going on in their hearts." I sat there and saw a slide show of countless conversations that had taken place in the past few years in which the question was asked repeatedly.....why?? Why did you lie? Why did you disobey? Why this, why that....and you want to guess what the number one and still reigning answer is and has been - drum roll please......"I DON'T KNOW" !!!! Much to our continued frustration and angst!! Imagine that - he may have been telling the truth all this time - he really doesn't know!!! I've had a hunch about this once or twice because I know the looks and saw the heart behind those looks - he really doesn't know, this is not just a pat cop out answer to shut us up - well not all the time in any case ;-) I could go on and on and on, for now I have said all this to say this.....we need to know our children, lead their hearts and teach them right from wrong. This is not a popular parenting mantra of late, but look at what is going on in the world around us - I am not raising a child for society, I am raising a child for God and I am the one who will have to answer for what I take the time and effort to teach and what I allow to root and grow in his life. Is it easy? No way, in fact it is without a doubt the hardest thing I have ever done - but he is worth it!!
I am taking my stand here on this soapbox and in my home - I love my son too much to leave him the way he is and allow what society says is ok to be ok. I am raising a boy to become a man, who will be able to lead his family, to love his wife and teach his children in the ways of the Lord. I am raising a man, one who will reflect his Father, my Father, your Father and bring Him honor in all he does and says. I will no longer tolerate the rolling eyes, the irritated grunts and sighs, the lazy behaviors, the sub-standard efforts, the lying, the disrespectful words, action or behaviors because I am weary and have no tidy little solutions. I owe it to my God, my son, my future daughter in law and grandchildren to raise a man who will be a man of character and honor and to myself, because God chose me to do just that!
I am rolling up my sleeves, digging in my heels and persevering to the end, the outcome far out weighs the effort in value. Betsy Hart has given me some hope along the way that I needed pretty desperately when I came across it - accidental? I think not - God is into the details remember ;-) SO.... I wanted to share this today, in case you may have to travel some of the same roads we do on occasion and could use a little encouragement, some refreshing and a much needed dose of perspective and common sense in this crazy world in which we live. Betsy has a blog which I have not yet had much time to poke around, but look forward to seeing what other nuggets are there that I once knew and have foolishly cast away for the bigger, newer, shinier nuggets that the latest snake oil salesmen were selling....

1 comment:

~*Lisa*~ said...

Pastor Liz sent me to your blog today knowing I needed to read this!Thank you for this post! I needed it!

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