Friday, September 10, 2010

Don’t sweat the small stuff (and other random thoughts on parenting)

Let me just start out by saying, I sweat the small stuff.  All the time. 

All the perfectly posed photos of happy children might make it look too easy, so I felt the need to bring a little reality check - homeschooling so far, has been wonderful.  And difficult.  But wonderful still.

WARNING: Growing little hearts may will most definitely lead to changes in the big hearts (that’s you mom and dad).

I am learning so much about my kids, and about myself.  For example….sometimes, kids are just kids.  They are loud.  They are unruly.  They interrupt, bother and press buttons.  They are rude.  (Did I mention they are loud?)  It’s what they do…because they haven’t learned any different…because, they are kids.  Expecting my 3 and 5 year-olds to be perfect angels is crazy just not possible, especially when I consider that I’m no angel myself (whew…see getting down and dirty now)!  But I find myself with the pressure of that expectation leading my parenting, instead of the real goal…reaching the hearts of my children.

Here’s a good scenario from the other day -- I’m washing dishes and the kids are screaming being loud in the living room.  My first feeling is to yell (from the other room mind you, and over the sound of running water) for them to stop it, or better yet, the frequently used “SETTLE DOWN”.

What exactly does settle down mean to a 3 year old?  ….but I digress…

Now…what I have been working on (with God’s help, and thank GOD I can lean on Him, HE IS the best/perfect example of a great parent) instead of just yelling out into the air random commands at my children, is to stop for a moment, and really listen.  When I do, I hear that the kids are screaming because they are playing.  Yep.  Playing and having fun together.  If I wait just another moment, the screaming will stop and turn into talking, or something else, and then probably screaming again, and isn’t that ok?

I find that sometimes I default to threatening/repeating commands, so I can get them to comply (which isn’t what I’m supposed to be focused on)…which then makes it hard for them to know when I really mean it.  I need to make sure that the things I say are what I mean to say and more on purpose.  How much easier would it be for them to comply if I did that instead? 

So this whole post is to tell myself, it’s ok to let kids be kids…(because after all, we were loved even when we were un-loveable by our Heavenly Father, and He is ever so patient with us). 

The small stuff gets on my nerves sometimes.  And admitting that is the first step to overcoming it. 


  1. I loved every word of this... because every word is true.

  2. Well said, friend. I appreciate your purposefulness in learning how to reach and train their little hearts.