In my second post on this topic, I asked the following question:
How does your ideal parenting picture match up with the reality of your life?
Some key ideas from my ideal picture are
positive attitude and efforts in school
family pursuit of hobbies and sports
calm patient discipline from the parents
clear, honest, trusting communication between parents and children.
So, how do those four points match up with my real life? I’ll be brief. 🙂 Okay, I’ll try.
Positive attitude and efforts in school: I’d say we’re making definite progress in this area. I’ve seen how my own behavior is affecting theirs (the older boys), and vice versa. I’m quick to start growling if they do. On the other hand, we have not had tears, yelling, or throwing oneself on the floor in a very long time. And yes, I’m referring to both me and them. The younger boys have experimented with a bad attitude every now and then, and I’ve used both a charm offensive to make things fun along with stating calmly that we’re not going to complain about school right now. Are we all happy and excited about learning? No. Not yet. Lessons are done mainly because I say we gotta do them. And we also implemented a sticker reward chart which seems to be pleasing them. Now it’s just a matter of keeping that interesting.
Family pursuit of hobbies and sports: well, the boys are all in soccer this year. We don’t do as many craft, art, or various projects as I’d like to see. Today the boys learned how to use a compass in math class, and proceeded to use their new-found skill to make their own dart board. Then they made darts out of paper clips and paper. Eventually a slice of bread was involved in the targeting process. Which totally cracked me up. Hubby and I are trying desperately to finish house renovation projects along with reducing some outside responsibilities so we can spend time playing with the kids. Definite progress to be made in this area.
Calm, patient discipline from the parents: It’s safe to say we’ve made great strides in this area, but we both still lose patience more than I’d like. This is a keep working area, for sure.
Clear, honest, trusting communication between parents and children: I’d have to say that the jury is still out on this one. I think we’re doing okay as parents here, but the older boys are just entering the Tweens stage now. So we haven’t had to test the relationship or deal with split loyalties (peers vs. parents) yet. For now, we just keep trying to build as many ties as we can between us.
Alrighty, here’s the final question. Now that you’ve looked at your mental picture and compared it to the reality of your existence, what can you do to get those two things closer? Do you need to change your expectations? Or do you need to change your parenting?
Earnest Parenting: help for parents who care about being the best.