Friday, April 11, 2014

[help for parents]

My husband and I waited what seemed like forever until we were able to have our daughter. We truly appreciate being parents and rejoice that we have that blessing in our lives. That being said, there are times when your children try your patience to the limits. Children don't come with an instruction booklet attached to them and there are times when you just don't know how to help them to listen to you, etc. This book came to me at a time when I felt like I was talking to a tree when trying to get our daughter to get ready for school, or to brush her teeth, etc. I have truly enjoyed this book and it has helped me see some of the tough parenting situations in new light, offering me suggestions on how to keep my cool in those situations.

This book was written by a Latter-Day Saint and it does have some religious quotes on it. But I feel it's a book that has much wisdom to any parent who wants to improve his/her parenting skills and who doesn't want to be a nagging, impatient parent.

Here are just couple of quotes from the book:

Dr Goddard tells about his childhood experience with his aunt Mary and Uncle Grant:
"Every summer they invited us to come visit them. I'm not sure why. We added to their burdens and weren't asked to help with chores, yet they seemed to genuinely enjoy us. And they tolerated our antics without visible chagrin. When I crashed Uncle Grant's motor scooter with no injury to me but no benefit to the scooter, he merely laughed. When Alan and I dragged back to the house after we narrowly avoided burning down all of southern Utah, Aunt Mary simply turned on the sprinklers to cool us off."

It is easier to be a part-time parent than a full-time parent. But even so, think of this quote and relate it to your role as a parent. None of us are perfect and I do believe that our children are trying their best. Dr Goddard says: "When we understand that our children are doing the best they can in a big, confusing world in which they often feel awkward and powerless, we... can act redemptively. When a child falls short because of lack of wisdom or experience, we can teach rather than punish."

Think about it! When we do get impatient with our children, our response greatly depends on how we are feeling overall, prior to the incident that seemed to cause the impatience.

Anyways, much wisdom in this book. Many things to make you ponder about your own actions and what makes you impatient. I wish the mere reading the book would make you into a super patient, gentle parent. But it does take work and conscious effort to put things into practice. But at least there are things out there to help us in our efforts to become a better parent. 

My advice is that we need to ensure that everyone in the home gets enough sleep. It's so super easy to become irritated and impatient when we are tired. I have noticed that our daughter's diminished listening and crankiness is usually caused by few late nights in a row. Children need so much sleep. It blows my mind sometimes when I see parents out and about late at night with their little ones. I always hope that it's an exception rather than a rule in their lives. We can't expect children to function well if we chronically let them stay up too late. So often, the general crankiness in a home could be avoided if everyone gets enough sleep.

And remember, one of the most important words for even parents is the word "sorry". Our children need to hear that each time we have been impatient and cranky with them. We need to live what we teach.

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