Erin Spatz: Parenting is fun, but hard

  • Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Well, I have never said that parenting was easy. I have said that it was fun, but I never said easy.
And I am about to make it harder for myself.
For days now, all that keeps running through my head is “what is my intention?” Is my intent to survive a day or help my children thrive?
And while my automatic response is to say thrive, when I give it some actual thought the truth would be that more often I am surviving.
I don't want to parent in a manner that just survives. Thriving, godly children are my goal. My calling. But, what I have got going on in this house right now is surviving children and I doubt anyone is thriving.

When I discipline or correct my child's behavior, what is my intent? To quiet the noise? Or for that child to stop bothering me or her/his siblings? My intent is usually just to quiet the noise, and have harmony. But when that is my only intent, am I missing what could be a bigger lesson? Is this a chance to show my child how to be a gentleman or a lady?  Or an opportunity to show them how to forgive each other or to make compromises?
Truthfully, I struggle with this topic. I don't want to just be a chaos manager. My goal is a happy, bliss-filled home, but I cannot achieve that without knowing my intent in each parenting choice. And sometimes parenting is about reacting in the moment. When your child is about to do something harmful to themselves or others there is really no time to think.
What I want is to be more aware of the teachable moments. I don't want to sigh at the end of the day and think, “Well, we made it through another one.” I want to sigh and think, “Today was hard, but thankfully we got somethings accomplished.” Perfection is not my goal. Actually, it will never be my goal for anything. That's too stressful.
And while I cannot say with any certainty how to go about doing this other than to ask myself before each choice, “What is my intent?” Prayerfully, I will see some results in all of our lives.

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