LOL! I remember when my boys were a lot younger and my mom told me she was glad I didn't have girls. I was like What is that supposed to me? I would have been a great mother to girls. I would have done their hair nice and made sure they wore the cutest clothes. LOL! She wasn't totally convinced of that as she kind of knows me. Then later on, I realized what she really meant and she was probably right. If you don't know me very well, then you don't know that I'm not the most "mentally" patient person in the world even though I may appear to be. This is part of battling my flames. Being patient and calm takes effort and that's one reason why I had a strong desire to become a Life Coach because I'm more patient, curious and calm with others and continue to work on this with certain people. However, I realized over time that God gave me two boys to teach me patience and I literally say this all the time. With all of their energy, loudness, and a desire to sort of destroy stuff and make a mess (and not clean up without prompting), I have had my share of having my patience tested and let me just be honest in saying that I have failed many a time but there is nothing like the challenge and reward of parenting, as you may know if you are a parent.
How Do You Get Through to Them?
Parenting doesn't come with a 100% fail proof manual. If it did, there would probably be less stir crazy parents in the world. I join the pack every now and then when my boys test my patience. What about you? I mean, it's hard when we say it's hard raising children and if you have boys or girls, it doesn't matter, at some point, if it was easier, later on it gets harder. That is where I am now and every now and then I need to phone a friend/call in my lifeline so I don't lose it. Patience! Yes Lord please, drown me in it right now.
Attitude, slipping grades, and ever changing hormones are the perfect recipe for stir crazy parenting and high blood pressure if a lot of praying, breathing, questioning, and PATIENCE aren't part of the ingredients. Boy oh boy! And these games, and YouTube. My youngest son will say something quite interesting that I know we haven't discussed and I'll ask, YouTube? And he'll nod his head. OMG! Gotta be careful with what they are watching and listening too. And they know all the latest music. When I hear them playing something I may or may not know, I'll say "Roblox?" or "YouTube?" and I'll get a "Yep!" Screen time is something that I'm thankful for and use but it's all still too much. Growing up, we didn't have all these different distractions to take us away from what is most important, experiencing life by being outdoors and playing with friends. Sure we had Atari, Nintendo and Sega Genesis but we also had to take our butts outside until before dark or dinner, instead of sitting in front of the TV all day.
Well when grades are slipping because the oldest thinks he can just make up missing assignments at the last minute before grades close, oh hell to the NO! Then military mom kicks in. We never want it to be this way. Right moms? We have the talk all the time about them only having one main job and that is to focus on getting good grades by studying, aside from contributing to the household. This is their main responsibility and when that isn't taken care of, the niceties go away along with the privileges. My sons privileges are his devices but specifically his gaming computer. When he loses that privilege, it's like his world has ended. OH PLEASE! GIVE ME A BREAK! But this is where I seem to get through to him. He knows the rules and that their are logical consequences when he breaks them and he has no one to blame but himself because he has choices. He has difficulty in hearing the voice of reason, not coming from his own mouth until much later, but from mine, during the time when he is losing his privileges. You'd think I was shipping him away to a boys boarding school (I have thought about it and posed it as a possibility if he doesn't get it together) with how he responds, but trust me, the thought has crossed my mind a few times because maybe that would get through to him with sustainability instead of being right back where he was, stuck and without his privileges. The other day he was acting miserable and I needed to create space for him and for myself. I shared some words for him to think about and then checked in with him the next day. I had to practice patience which included not raising my voice to yell because that proves to not serve either one of our goods from time to time. I find it just becomes a power struggle. And, my HBP. LOL! It's when you step back to let them reflect (being patient) that you learn that they are listening to you because they repeat what they heard in their own way to show they are/will own it. Now being consistent in their responsibilities/actions, now that's the challenge!
It Takes a Village So Use It!
Getting through doesn't always mean us as parents. I've learned that sometimes we have to reach outward for help in raising our children/getting through to them. When my oldest was having a tough time last week and my words weren't helping, I stepped away and asked for help. I did so by texting his best friend's mom and asking her to call Christopher to cheer him up and to keep calling until he got him on the phone, if he didn't answer. That was when I checked in with him the next day to see that he was feeling better. Raising boys is TOUGH and yes, I'm sure raising girls has it's own challenges. For me, because I grew up mainly around girls (aunts and cousins), I didn't have as much experience with boys. As they get older and go through hormonal changes it gets tougher. Oh boy, the attitude. A good friend of mine gives me advice from time to time and I told her that I really wanted a mentor for Christopher and she put me in touch with someone who talks to Christopher about once a month. Someone who will ask Christopher questions even when he doesn't want to be open. Someone to get him thinking about his future and how he should conduct himself as a young man who will grow up to be a man soon. These are all part of that village to raise our children and help us practice patience by stepping back and letting help step in. And boy, they are only 13 and 10. I still have a ways to go and my patience isn't running thin but I'm realizing that I have to level it up and be more creative at this age.
Give Them What They Need
Children need to feel a sense of belonging and significance when they act out/don't do what they are supposed to do. Figuring out what may be missing in the way of what they need is important so I try different things including seeking help. One thing that I give them to make them feel significant is attention. We do something called Mind, Body and Soul Time. This is where I spend one-on-one time with each of them doing whatever it is that they want. With Noah, it's usually playing Connect 4 or Legos. With Christopher, it's usually cards; Speed to be exact. He hates when I beat him. LOL! I find that when we spend this time together, that there attitude shifts and they are more positive and open. Open for Christopher means that he openly shares/talks to me with out the "nothing" or "okay" responses when I ask him a question. Heck, when he's feeling good, I don't have to ask him anything. He does all the talking and I can't get him to stop talk. LOL! That is when I know he's very happy. Noah is normally a happy kid so the difference with him might be that he's just extra happy! I also find when I simply ask probing questions and get them to answer (with meaning), that I get more out of them than barking orders/telling them what to do. To have them come to a conclusion on their own makes them feel good and in control which is what children want to feel. I find that when I ask more questions than provide more nagging with telling, they are more receptive and it causes me to slow down and be more patient because I'm more curious in learning the answers. Positive parenting that includes patience is challenging but yet so rewarding. When you are actually co-parenting, challenging isn't even the word. You have to stay on the same page as much as possible with the other parent which requires a lot of communicating and agreeing, but what's most important is that follow through. I'm living this life every day and if you are too, then trust me, you are in good company and we'll keep that fire and patience without constantly thinking it's hard because we say it's hard. We got this! #mindset
If anything I've shared resonated with you or you have blog topic recommendations, I welcome you to leave a comment below.
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