In the past, I have gotten caught in the trap of preventative parenting. I think this could also be called 'fear' parenting; keeping in the forefront of the mind what I am trying to avoid as opposed to what I am trying to obtain. I found myself focusing on correcting the kids and sadly sometimes only interacting with them during these corrections. So instead of being someone who is positive and uplifting, I was someone who was to be avoided. NOBODY want to hear corrections and criticisms all the time.
When I stepped back to evaluate my parenting strategies, I felt that I didn't even know who I was looking at. I didn't even know myself anymore. I've always felt that since I was a child, I have been able to love a person despite their behaviors. I've felt that it was a gift I had been given. So evaluating this person (myself) who I felt had good intentions but horrible and very detrimental methods, I was disgusted in what I saw. I knew something had to change.
I realized that I had gotten to this point because I had been so overwhelmed for so long. I was faced with behaviors and emotions from my kids that I didn't know even existed in young children prior to my getting them. I searched for help and found none. I tried following the advise of other people to no avail. I was seeing my children be hurt and abused by each other while in my care and I felt horrible. So I resorted to preventative parenting. And for a long time, my focus was on stopping these horrible things from happening.
Thankfully, after much prayer, reading and growing myself, I feel I'm not only back to who I was before, but I have learned so much!
I've learned to focus my parental energies on building great children who will become great adults, NOT on preventing delinquent adults. I try to point out the things they do right. I try to take the time to listen to them. I try to support them in what they are interested in. I take time to hold them and to look into their eyes.
In correcting them, I try to build them up in the process. I am far from perfect. And I can only say that I wish I did this all the time.
I try not to let myself get down about my mistakes, rather I learn from them and strive to be continually improving.
Great messages like the one in this video really help me to stay focused on what I want to do and who I want to be.
Childhood is so short.
I don't want to waste any time.