Parenting During School Days

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Parenting is tough.  If it’s not tough for you, then you don’t really care!  Just kidding.  

Why is it tough?  Because…

  • we care about our children and want to do our best for them
  • as much as we’ve learned from our parents, we still have to learn for ourselves
  • our kids are their own person and we’re learning to bond with them and be in a relationship with them
  • we have our own self that we’re trying discover and give meaning to

2.5 weeks into the school year and here are a couple of things I’m observing/reflecting/working on:

  • Have a rhythmic routine.  I’m working on them having a morning/afternoon/evening routine.  This is tough for me because I’m a nonconformist by nature (but I’m tricking myself to believe that I’m not conforming to a lack of schedule…lol).  The rhythm to the routine is like a musical piece.  There’s a sense of where the song is going…dynamics, tempo, mood.  But all along, there’s a consistency with the song.  The routine helps bring a sense of stability, safety and consistency that allows the “song” to breathe and take shape/form.  The routine gives the boys an opportunity to explore within the song.  I’m crossing metaphors here but you get the picture, right?!  🙂
  • Teach Ownership.  I’m trying to help the boys take ownership and see the big picture in decision-making.  For example, they can choose to read for 20 minutes a day, which will help them with reading, writing, story lines, organization, etc.  We saw a chart that showed if they read for 20 min a day, in a month it turns into 400 minutes (6.5 hours).  In a year, it’s A LOT of hours.  Or they can choose to read a little bit or not at all.  There will also be a specific result chosen.  If they can own this decision, I’m not having to constantly fight with them to read.
  • Trust your parental gut.  This takes some discernment, wisdom, time, and practice.  But I recently had an issue where I was doubting my approach to parenting (see http://amzn.com/0684838656 for more details on how I’m approaching parent).  Instead, I started labeling my sons as “disobedient” or “strong-willed”.  I got mad every time they acted out.  This resulted in me screaming a lot, being frustrated and them not really learning anything.  I changed my approach because a significant person in our lives brought up some concerns.  Suffice it say, I had to reach out to some trusted friends to help me process thoughts and was led back to trusting my gut.  It was a huge relief.

I’m grateful for this gift of grace God has given all parents to love our kids.  I pray for a deep yearning to parent them the way He does/would.  I pray for a deep desire for parenting/marriage to be my highest priority in life, my primary place of ministry and pastoral work.  They are my first and immediate “parishioners”.  Yet sometimes, I’m their parishioner and they’re teaching me.

Let’s continue to pray for each other…to be the best parents we can be and let’s continue to pray for our kids!

Peace,

Roy

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