Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Greatest Reward

Another anxiety-filled morning for me, wondering whether or not today would be a "good" day. I worry for a number for reasons; what makes for a "good" day and a "bad" day? How can I help him get through this best? What am I doing wrong? I don't have answers for these questions but I don't really need to answer them, either. Today was a good day and I can't help but think maybe, just maybe, he's starting to get the idea that good behavior makes us feel better.

For me, seeing results that I want, makes the effort I put into parenting worth all the worry, anxiety and research. All the self-improvement and reprogramming I've done for myself isn't really for me; it's so I can be the best Mom I can be. I was so worried I didn't handle yesterday well enough; I thought of a million ways today could turn into a "bad" day and how it would be my fault for not encouraging him enough or being too hard on the one Smiley he didn't get. Now, I feel like maybe I handled things yesterday way better than I thought I did.

Parenting is not at all easy & I definitely make mistakes from time to time. When I get stressed out, I'm know to yell a bit. I can be a tyrant when it comes to messes in the living room. I swear in front of them. All of this just proves I'm not perfect. I'm not perfect. I'm a parent. We aren't perfect, but our imperfections help us be better parents. They can show us where we need improvement and our kids benefit from that. When we acknowledge we have faults & make mistakes and we actively work to correct those faults & fix our mistakes, we are showing our kids, in the best possible way, how to grow, how to learn, how to change the things we don't really like about ourselves, while still loving who we are.

Knowing that this is going to be hard makes it a little easier, as crazy as that sounds. It means that we're doing things right. One of the parenting "programs" I've found most helpful is the Love & Logic system from Jim Fay & his son, Dr. Charles Fay, Ph.D. and this simple line from their parenting handbook sums up what I mean very well: "When we do the right thing with challenging children, it will almost always look and feel like the wrong thing in the short term." <3

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