tough love with my kiddos is hard for me. mostly i want to just have fun together.
but as a mother, i know that if i truly love my kids, i will teach them eternal truths.
these are often simple yet powerful lessons for them to learn (and me also!)
on extra challenging days or in extra trying moments, i have to remind myself that I must be unbending in teaching truths.
i have to tell myself (and the kids) over and over that because i love them, i will …
each kiddo is different. these are the latest…
h: because i love you, i will provide you service opportunities in the home.
a: because i love you, i will follow through on your education, homework, and school projects.
m: because i love you, i will insist you brush your teeth.
t: because i love you, i will not allow you to bite, hit, or kick me.
e: because i love you, i will teach you how to accomplish hard things.
s: because i love you, i will let you cry to sleep and learn to comfort yourself.
This last one, with Scotty, is the most poignant example this past week.
As a parent, I don’t always follow through on what is best, it’s true.
I sometimes choose to do what is easy in the moment because there are too many overwhelming things going on.
Giving Scotty a bottle to suck while falling asleep in his crib became one of those easy things.
He enjoys sucking as a calming technique… but he didn’t like a pacifier.
We used to let him cry it out and it would seriously be like an hour. over and over again.
I knew we needed to just buckle down and figure out a way to have him cry it out and not have it keep other kiddos (and parents!) awake. Hello… he’s like 15 months old.
I also knew that during our move wouldn’t be a good time because he is so sensitive to his environment.
So, after our apartment… after heading to San Antonio for Thanksgiving, we came home and let him get used to his room for a few days.
This past weekend, I was feeling strong and knew we needed to get rid of bottles for good. I was tired of having milky-stinky-blankies and jammies from his bottle. Tired of getting up in the middle of the night if he fussed.
so – the result… He cried for 37 minutes. Long and hard.
Jimmy wanted to get him at 31 minutes.
Six minutes later he was asleep.
Next nap day… cried it out.
Next night… 10 minutes of crying.
Either it was the magical time for this 15 month old or we should have done this a year ago.
We kept trying… just wasn’t working due to who knows what reasons
So now he cries briefly and then calms and then sleeps. And he doesn’t get up in the middle of the night.
Pamper him with a bottle in bed, and he wakes in the middle of the night needing to be pampered.
Toughen him up by crying it out, and he sleeps through the night.
All bottles have been thrown away. NO MORE BOTTLES … ever!
So, the moral is… do what is right as a parent. Be Strong.
Remind yourself that because you love this child, you will teach appropriate living and eternal truths.
My wish is that I always knew what was the right path to take in parenting.
I’m so willing to be strong and teach truth. But knowing the HOW is hard in each specific situation.
(like what to do if one certain 6-year-old steals your $5 and buys spirit sticks at school and then lies about it!)
… What the most appropriate consequence is… what lesson God needs us and them to learn.
It’s tricky business – this parenting thing.
I realize this post shows a parenting weakness in me.
But I thought it was really important for me to note that following the promptings of the Holy Ghost with parenting will help us be strong to teach these behaviors and truths.