Giving up, makes you a great parent?

Giving up, makes you a great parent?

How does giving up make you a good parent? The answer is simple:

First, we give up flat stomachs, (or for the dad you give up having your woman looking different than when you married her) and we do so with pleasure. We stand in front of a mirror proud of our baby bumps and don’t think much about the figure we are giving up.

Our pride is the next thing to go, as we have to bare our private parts to many different doctors and nurses throughout the course of pregnancy.

Next, we give up sleep.  As the baby bump gets bigger we get less and less sleep as getting comfortable is just not an option.  For most of us, we give up sleep while we are listening for any sound that might mean our child is in harm’s way. As they get older we hear every creak in the floorboards, every squeaking door hinge, listening to see if our children are trying to sneak out. We tend to lose sleep even after they have moved out hearing every little noise in case it is one of our children that have come home in need of assistance.

We give up our food and in particular hot food.  In the beginning, it is because we just don’t have the time to sit down and eat, so we are hopeful we can have a small plate of food beside us while we are nursing. You will struggle with what you need more, going to take a nap or getting some good hot food while your little one is napping because you won’t have time for both. Later you give up the food because your child decides they want your egg yolk as it is the best part of the egg, or they are so excited you weren’t so hungry and didn’t eat your piece of chicken tonight because they really wanted another piece.

We give up our time.  We will drop anything to assist our child with anything. We spend hours helping them, teaching them, working with them, listening to them. We go to every event possible and clap with excitement even if the sound of them strumming away on a ukulele is ear piercing. We will stop working to listen to them tell us about how school went or if they need a shoulder to cry on because the person they are dating has disappointed them.

We give up our money.  We will spend every dollar we make to give you the best home, food, clothes and whatever else they might need. We will give them our last dollar to go buy the right color marker so their project will look perfect. We will scrounge in our pockets to buy them the icecap they said you wanted.

Eventually, we give up our sanity.  We feel like we are going crazy with toys, diaper changes, feeding schedules which turns into messy bedrooms, picky children deciding this week they don’t like blue pants they want green, planning meals around work and sports schedules. We would love a couple of hours downtime without having them by our side…..but then during teenage years when they do go out on their own, we lose our sanity if we don’t know where they are, who they are with or what they are doing.

Everything a parent does is for the good of their child.  We are unselfish in everything we do when it comes to our children. We think about their present issues and try to help.  We are concerned that they eat good food, get lots of sleep and are healthy and happy. We contemplate their future and try and encourage them to be all they can be.  We want to be there no matter what the issues or problems and make it easier for them.

I would like to end this article by saying, I would not want the job of deciding whether someone is a bad parent or not. Nor do I desire to be the one to make the decision of whether or not a child needs to be taken from the home. I think most parents are not only good parents but in fact great parents because even if we do not do everything right we are willing to give up our very lives for our children.  That makes us great parents.

Bullying…do we teach or resolve?

Bullying…do we teach or resolve?

Bullying is one of those things that we all go through at some stage of our lives. Even as adults we can become victims of bullying.

I remember as a child I was always the person who felt bad for the underdog, the kids that other people picked on. I was never popular but I had learned young how to stand on my own two feet as I had a person in my life that was a bully to me most of my life.

But teaching our children how to stop the bullying in today’s world is a bit harder than when I was younger. There are many forms of bullying.

  1. Facebook, Twitter, texting, which is called cyberbullying.
  2. Face to face bullying including words and or physical.
  3. Behind someone’s back, gossiping talking bad about someone and ruining their reputation.
  4. Sexual

The older the child is, the tougher it can be to help them come to a solution. If your child learns to stand up for themselves at an early age they have learned the guidelines on how to prevent it in the future. However, what that might also do is create a bit of a tough exterior that might not be real making it hard to determine whether or not what you see is a true self-confidence or a fake tough exterior.

Here are 3 ways I know of that you can use to deal with face to face bullying. Two of them I used at different times with success.  The 3rd option you will see I offered to my children but they wisely used the other options

1: teach them to walk away

2: teach them how to use a verbal resolution

3: step in and temporarily make it easier for them.

To teach them to walk away only works if you can help your child see they have grown much more than those around them, and generally only works with older children. Those that are bullying, especially if they are older children, will eventually grow up and until they do, walking away is quite often the best solution, although hard to do.  If your child is in their teens or older, any form of dealing with it could lead to a bigger issue as the older the children the more legal impact could be involved.  What you can do, is help your child cultivate different friendships with other more mature people.  This will give them a foundation of friendship that is strong, stable and worthy of their time.

Teaching your child how to use verbal resolution is harder to do but so worth it especially for the younger children. You could actually teach them a different life lesson if they are willing to take the time to do this right and with your supervision.

I remember my son was getting bullied in grade two.  He came home crying and telling me what happened and my heart broke.  After we dried his tears I got him to retell the story by asking questions.  When I got the full story out of him, I was able to show him that he did a few things wrong which probably started the bullying.  After pointing out some of the things he could have done instead, he and I then went to work on helping him overcome the bully. I told him there were two ways to handle this.  I could come to the school and demand that the teacher make this kid apologize and by doing this making him look like a mommy’s boy, or we could work together to come up with things to say and or do that would resolve the issues. He opted for the second choice, which I so proud of him for doing.

Every day no matter what happened he came home and relayed the day for me. Then I would ask him questions like, “so how could you have answered that” or “what could you have done in that situation”. To make a long story short as this took about five months of coaching, he learned how to respond and react to this bully and it soon stopped.  He has never had a problem standing up for himself since then.  To him, at the time the issue was huge and looked unbeatable.  But to me as the adult, I saw it in perspective and could teach him how to correct his reactions to situations like this so they would not keep happening in the future.  A life lesson for sure.

Bullying is not good, but it can teach your child so much and in turn, give them confidence if done right that might not have been learned any other way.

There are many ways to help prevent and/or stop bullying. If you have any other ideas that you can share with the readers please do so in the comments as we can all learn from each other.

This song says it all.  

To Spank or not to Spank is not the right question!

To Spank or not to Spank is not the right question!

Even the laws struggle with the issues of Spankings.  Should you spank or not? Does it demoralize the child or is it a proper form of punishment?

One day my son informed me that he was going to call Children’s Aid on me
In shock, I asked him why he felt he wanted to do that, to which he replied, “the teachers told me that if parents punish us we can call Children’s Aid and get taken out of an abusive situation”.

Many different emotions were rolling around inside of me but it was pure frustration that won out. I picked up the phone, shoved it at him and told him “FINE if you want to call then call, but think about this; when they take you out of this house and put you into a foster home what makes you think you will be treated any better? Do you think they will love a perfect stranger as much as we love you? Will they give you the extras that we do or will they just buy you food and clothes?  Will they spend time with you developing your gifts and skills?  Will you be with your brother and sisters?”  What I was most infuriated with was that that the school system felt they had the right to imply that a parent couldn’t use discipline.

When my son stood up and hung up the phone instead of dialing, my frustration died.  I crumbled into the chair and almost cried at the absurdity of the situation. We ended up having a long discussion about what the school said and why? Then I proceeded to tell him how the ‘system’ worked, which the school conveniently left out.  Taking the time to explain that if he really felt the punishments I doled out were worse than going to a strangers home, then I would not ever want to stop him from doing so. He never again threatened to call.

This incident had become a defining moment for me
The punishment my son was willing to challenge me on was not a spanking, or anything physical, it was having a small privilege taken away. In my discussion with him that day I informed him that I would never allow him or any of my children to threaten me again.  If they felt my discipline was too harsh they had every right to leave, but the fact that he felt he could threaten a parent or anyone that has authority over him proved to me that the system had failed.

Our children have a right to know that they don’t have to stay in a home where they are being abused and I applaud the school system for letting children know this. However, if real abuse is happening the child probably won’t do anything about it out of terror. If anything, they would have just left the home and gone to where they felt it was safer. Anyone who has been in an abusive situation or seen it knows that for that child to have made a phone call or threaten the one abusing them would have just brought on more abuse.

So instead of just keeping an eye open for real abuse, the legal system is breaking down a family’s structure of the parent is the authority figure by stating that discipline equals abuse.  With the schools not being able to dole out any form of discipline and now parents not being allowed to discipline, our children are running amok in both the homes, schools and in public.  Our society is wondering why our children are not behaving.  We complain that this generation is the ‘entitled’ generation and we have no one to blame but ourselves.

I am a huge believer in positive words being spoken to our children. I don’t think we do it near enough to empower our children to be all they can be. Speaking words of encouragement should be an everyday occurrence with our children. We can reinforce good behaviour with positive reinforcement, but positive words alone with not teach children there are consequences for bad behaviour. The proof that we all, even adults, need a punishment at times is in our legal system; tickets for speeding or jail time for stealing. If we have punishments set up for adults, please explain to me why it is wrong to do so for our children?

It is very true that we need to protect our children from abuse, so I am not suggesting that we don’t stay alert.  Having a parent screaming at a child or ignoring a child is a much more emotional and damaging form of abuse and yet that seems to be going on all of the time. Nor do I think a spanking should consist of innumerable hits to any part of the body including the backside, as that is also abuse.

The problem is we have all misused the word so much we have watered down the meaning.  The dictionary uses words like, violent & harmful when describing abuse.  I do not think a swat or two on the behind fits into the category of violent or harmful.  Hitting them until they are bruised, not taking care of their physical everyday needs, ignoring them and/or screaming at them continually is violent and/or harmful.  When doling out corrections,  we do need to do is stay in control.  Never punish in anger, but have a clear, concise plan in mind if your child needs discipline and stick to what you say you will do. If you see a parent is not losing control but is disciplining their child, even if it is in a form you don’t believe is the proper way, let’s not be so quick to call officials as this parent is at least trying to do their job by bringing value and structure to their child’s life.

I am frustrated beyond belief that the extremists on either side of this fence have the power they do to affect our home life
We have come to the point where the question isn’t if I can spank, but if I can give any discipline at all.  Our children are our responsibility to teach and train, not society’s, but if we don’t have the guts to do so, when our children grow up and get out into the world they will suffer the consequences for not knowing how to act, how to behave, and how to respect those in authority over them and that will be our fault.

The proof to me that discipline is still extremely important came to me one day when my one daughter who is 24 and now a friend as well, sent me a text message on my birthday saying “Thank you mom, for not being the parent I wanted you to be when I was 13 years old.” When you love your child enough to discipline, they know that it is because you love them enough to care about them even though at the time they might not say it or even fully understand all the implications.  Don’t be bullied into doing any less for your child then loving them enough to teach them through both positive words and discipline.  It doesn’t have to be one or the other, it should be both.

Check out this video on how to “Shape the will, without destroying the Spirit”

Or this video on Discipline Vr Punishment Vr Correction

credit for the picture goes to:  http://www.safechildren.ca/ForParents/ParentingPrograms/PositiveDisciplineAgencies/tabid/1401/Default.aspx