In the past week I have been trying to figure out what I am doing, how I’m doing it, and how I need to do it better. I think this is something that every parent goes through at times;
“What am I doing, and why the heck did I choose to do this?!”
We all love our kids and want the best we can give them. However, there are moments we realize why lions sometimes eat there young. This however is not all that practical, ethical, or legal in most states. Nor would I want any part of there bodies in my mouth. I know what those hands and feet have been doing, and where they have been doing it. Don’t think there is enough sanitizing solution for half the things they have gotten into.
This brings me to my prior skills assessment as a parent. Currently I need to be a psychologist, medic, referee, and occasional cook to survive with my children on a daily basis. Not to mention that I am only with them for a few hours a day. Hats off to my wife who is not driven to the mad house by the end of each week. We dearly love our little darlings, they just do the darnedest things.
As an example, we are currently under siege of he said-she said, daily nudist spotting’s, and the constant arguing and screaming for the various injustices that are happening play by play thanks to my oldest continual field reports. I love my children, I love my children……
Have you ever been drawn to this thin conclusion, WHEN WILL IT STOP!!!!!!!!!
If so, believe me, you are not alone. We are there with you. Take solace in this fact, you parental units are not alone in this sacred battle. It is the battle though that is worth fighting for not only our selves, but our children.
To move from battle field to greener pastures, we need to understand that we are not fighting our children, but helping to shape them into there future selves. It is worth the strains, complains and frustrations. I just dont feel like it in the moment.
I have taken this inward journey figure out what is going on with not just myself, but how I affect my kids. It is this journey that has revealed both my shortcomings, as well as what I desire out of this time with my kids while they are still at home. I dont want to end up at the end of the race tired, defeated and in last place.
What does it take to do this however?
Glad you asked. It takes a butt load of patients, a plan, and a lot of prayer. I find that when I am doing all three, the result is much more pleasant than just going at things blindly.
For me, I love a good plan. I love it even more when a good plan comes together in the end for a successful result. As a father of five, I feel I need to be at least a mile ahead of the kidlets to be able to stay out of the rough waters. I do this by noticing who my kids are, what makes them tick, and how do my interactions affect them.
I put out this disclaimer before going any further, I am not the Dad of the Year by any means. I have yelled, mis-blamed, over reacted, mis-caltulated outcomes and generally dont follow my own advice a good majority of the time. It is through this though that I feel I have learned much, and wish to try and impart some semblance of what I am doing to make things better.
I notice mostly that my mood can set the mood of the moment. This is important, mood of the moment, because if we are living in the moment, we keep living in forward momentum. By this logic, if you can call it that, the momentum can allow for a change in the moments mood. This gives both hope, and insight for making a better mood at a later moment.
Boiling this down, you know your kids triggers right? If not, take some time and study what setts off there different emotions. You can use this as leverage to change the overall outcome of how and why they behave. I’m not talking about manipulating your children, more manipulating there surroundings to help foster a better mood over all.
This takes time, patients and effort. In essence, being intentional in understanding your kids. Im here to tell you, I am still a work in progress myself. What I can pass on is that when I pickup on when my kids moods start to shift, I take a survey of my surroundings. What is going on with me, my kids and those around us. If I can quickly pick up on something I am doing, I try to adjust and help my kids return to there more normal state. This can be one of the hardest parts, knowing what kind of parent to be for your individual child.
Some may only have one kid, myself I have the five, and others I know have upwards of ten children. How can you be a different dad to ten different kids. Not sure, I only have the five. Even so, I am learning as I go. This has been rewarding as I feel I can relate better with each different child because I have better insight to how each kids operates. I find I have better enjoyment with each child as well when I take the time to understand them as an individual.
Still patience takes a strong place in dealing with children. There are times, more often than not, that I just throw my hands up because I have no idea why Sally hit Timmy and why Johnny is happy about it, (Names changed to protect the guilty). It is during times such as these that I just have to remember to breath, hug my kids and tell them to move on. Then try to move on myself. Sometimes as the parent, we try to micro-manage every situation and over analyze till we are so stressed out we start wonder, “what Johnny really would taste like with a little stake sauce?” Sometimes we just have to let it go, pending any real serious bodily or emotional damage.
Lastly prayer is of utmost importance. I find that if I am not turning to God for help, Lord help the children. I am in a much better state of mind when I give up to God my problems and let Him figure it out for me. I am not abdicating my responsibilities, but embracing the fact that I dont have all the answers and need help to find them. God really does come through, but at times and in ways I and the children will least expect it.
I think as parents we also have the wrong idea of what a perfect family looks like. There is not chance on God’s green earth that we are ever going to have that blissful dream family where nothing goes wrong. Personally it sounds a little boring and mundane. I will take the poop on the ceiling, the constant screaming, the unbearable messiness and overall crazy house if it means I get to be apart of my child’s life, and them apart of mine. If I wanted perfect, a goldfish would have been a better option.
I like the unpredictability of being a father. It helps keep me in check as well. I have learned to never take myself seriously, get over my own issues, put others first and generally learn how to have fun.
I’m still a work in progress. I’m sure by the time the last child leaves the house God will have my rough edges mostly rounded out. I hope by then I will watch my kids go out into the world knowing I gave it my best, and God filled in the rest.
Till next time,
Stay sane out there.