Monday, April 9, 2012

Parenting Performance


Have you ever been in a situation where you know you aren't being the parent you should be? I'm not talking the lazy days where you let your kids watch extra t.v. shows so you can just have a break. I'm talking about the moments when you are in public and you know you wouldn't act like that if you were alone.

This week my mother-in-law was over to see the girls and I was going to run out to Target and Trader Joe's. (By the way, the whole trip took me less than an hour and a half and I know with three kids it would've been twice that!) I was giving her instructions about Ada's bottle and Catina kept pulling on her hand. She has sore joints in her hands and we've told Catina repeatedly to not pull on Gramie's hands because they hurt. Well, Catina kept doing it. This frustrated me greatly so I finally grabbed Catina, looked her in the eye, and said loudly, "DO  NOT PULL GRAMIE'S HANDS!" Catina immediately broke into tears. I hugged her and told her that I understand she wanted to be with Gramie but she cannot continue to pull on her hand. She calmed down and immediately jumped back into being with Gramie, only this time asking her to play and not pulling on her hand.

Now for me this was a good scenario, minus the reality that I felt a little harsher than normal. Normally when Gramie is over I feel insecure and afraid to be the parent I really am, which seems to happens to me with women who have parented and now have children who are older. Obviously their children no longer whine and pull on their grandmother's hands when they aren't suppose to, and my fear is that they don't remember the moments their children acted this same exact way.

Wait a minute! You know, I take that back, this also happens with my peers--peers whose children never seem to misbehave. It also happens when I am around people who haven't had children yet. Somehow, I believe that in their heads they are saying "Well, look at her kid misbehaving and not listening. Tsk, tsk, tsk..." I listen to the voice in my head, believing it's also in their heads, and I freeze. I forget what I normally do in the situation where Catina is whining and misbehaving.

I no longer want to be that person. One of the things I try my hardest at is being a consistent parent. That doesn't mean I can't change my mind on how things should be handled, but whatever I choose and discuss with my husband, Greg, I should be consistent with.

Each season I choose new goals that I'd like to work on with each child. Recently, I started sharing those goals with Catina so she knows what we are working on. Some day soon I will share these with you but in the meantime please pray that I can be a more consistent parent in public and at home.



I believe judgement is one of the biggest hindrances to good parenting! 'Cause let's face it, we're all faking it and trying to build the bike while we ride it. I dream of being able to walk through the grocery store, totally ignoring the screaming child in my cart, without my face getting hot and embarrassed. Granted, I can seriously fake a "what's the big deal?" look, but wouldn't it be great for it not to come with a side helping of mortification?

I wish we could all parent securely and confidently. I predict the kids would sniff out our resolve and not even bother messing with us.

Can't wait to hear the goals! Just started doing that with the twins. It's one way I feel like I have some direction in our days at home.


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