13 October 2011

Loving My Kids On Purpose

This is a book title.... and I have to say, after just reading the first chapter, I can see all the things that I do wrong as a mother, sometimes. We are reading this book for our book club right know.

Here is the link to the book on Amazon. But I am sure you can find it in other places around your town as well.

I never wanted to make the same mistakes like my parents, and yet, there are days where I catch myself, thinking how did I turn out like them (at least for that particular day). And it scares me, because that is not where I want to be.

Don't get me wrong, they didn't do everything wrong, I mean after all, I did turn out quite alright, right?

But there are things that I don't want to do the same way.
I had my children, because I wanted them. 
I want to be with them. I want to teach them in order to become wonderful children of God and eventually outstanding people of our Father. I want them to prosper. And I don't want to stand in the way of God's blessings in their life by not giving them freedom to choose.

A huge difference to my parents is that I am a Christian parent. A new Christian that is still learning. But nobody said that being a Christian makes you automatically a better parent - it's something that we have to make a conscious decision about, and then act upon it. That's why I love our church so much, because all of them, but especially the people in the children's ministry, know how important it is to raise these children IN the word of God. Our children are not hushed during service. They are a part of it. And I love it. When we have prayer meetings, we actually want our kids around us, so we can be examples for them. After all, kids will copy our behavior - the good and the bad. When we thank God for our food, one day, it will be natural for them to do so as well. If we don't' yell at each other as parents, the siblings (hopefully) won't yell, or at least it's a behavior easily corrected. I mean the list can go on.

SO what's my point of this message?

I am guilty of not following God's plan in raising these kids. And I want to improve my parenting style. I love them and I just want to pour love over them. That is a key in the book.
The amazing thing is that after only two days of just loving them and accepting who they are (and who God wants them to be), I can see a difference. More so in Peanut than Coqui - I guess he has been around my (wrong) parenting style for too long.

Our connection to our children is more important than their obedience. In pouring unconditional love over our children, we give them a safe place to grow up and to make mistakes. When you feel you are loved, it is easier to obey. We are suppose to guide our children, not control them. That was eye-opening. I am a big control freak and always thought that I needed to force them to obey, or else.... I am not saying that I did not love them, but I expected obedience. I didn't give them the freedom to make a choice to obey or not and then live the consequences. When I just gave them more love in ALL circumstances, I gave them more grace (and they were less annoying). I also gave them more freedom to have a choice.... or more freedom to be just a kid! Kids make noise and kids make a mess....

Yesterday, on the way back from the book club meeting, we just goofed around in the car. Coqui started this game "have you ever seen a walking chair" and then you give him and answer. And then I ask him "have you ever seen a floating cow"? It's just being super silly using all kinds of transportable objects. We laughed all the way home. It was liberating not having to yell at them to be quiet, and it felt good to be just that: silly. No purpose but pure fun.

I let him help me more. I mean this is something that I always tried to do, not wanting to discourage him. But we all know: kids make messes, even when they try to 'help' us. So it's hard to say yes, when you really want to shout 'no'! But I said yes each and every time he asked me to help. I did. And he was helpful and he learned. God showed me that I can relax more and the outcome will be awesome. I don't want to be the one holding him back. I want to give him freedom, in this case freedom to make messes and clean them up.

Reading this chapter and agreeing with (most of) it, is very liberating. Once you act it out - oh how liberating it is! After all, we all want freedom, and I want to give it to my children, too. I don't want to be the yellow truck (you will understand this one when you read the book).

Now, this was just after the first chapter - I can not wait to read the rest of the book.

When I am done with the book - I'll have a perfect family! Okay, I know, THAT is NOT the purpose of this book. I was just kidding. But we will have a BETTER family life....


C. Beth said...

Just being at the book club (though not reading the book) helped me. I was reminded (by you) that I WANTED my kids & I want to act like it. A lot of it for me was being more aware and making a choice (with God's strength) to be PATIENT. It makes me a much happier mom!

Vixbil said...

Wow this post was so powerful as I really could have written it, apart from the bits about reading the book.. I am looking it up on Amazon now and going to get it.

Thanks for a great recommendation