Thursday, August 19, 2010

Parenting: Touching the Hearts of Our Youth

As a mother, I hope to create an environment where my children can grow to become who there were sent to this Earth to be.  I hope to create a nurturing environment full of unconditional love.

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.


Mad Men Girl said...
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Kayla and Samuel said...

Wow, that's a great post thanks for sharing Heather! I hadn't viewed this video by Elder Hales before either. A book I've been reading lately called "Mothering with Spiritual Power," by Debra Sansing Woods has helped me and given me some good ideas. If you can't get a hold of a copy, I'd be happy to send you one (they're on sale at Seagull Book right now), just let me know. Again, thanks for sharing, you guys are doing amazingly well and you can see the spirit in all of your countenances!

The Sandry Family said...

Raising disfuntional children can be difficult. And many times you can find yourself feeding into their behaviors.I am glad you are able to step back and look at the mistakes you have made and learn from them.We all have made mistakes in our parenting and no one is perfect.But when they get older they will appreciate everything you have done for them and everything you have taught them. They are like sponges and learn from everything good or bad. The only thing we can do is guide them the way our parents have guided us. I appreciate everything you have done it is not a easy task with them but I know they do have good hearts. Thank you so much.