I've been feeling rather overwhelmed the past two weeks or so. We've had issues of defiance from the older two, and it has been tiring chasing the toddler who has been getting his nose and hands into everything (including the toilet bowl!). This week, the kids have reminded me that:
:: They are seeds, that take time to grow.
We often go for the quick fix tips for our parenting problems, from the one phrase that stops whining, the five steps that would get the kids to clean up their room, or the ten things we can do to be a good parent. Sometimes, I read these articles and get so inspired, only to forget that this parenting gig is a marathon, and not a sprint. That our kids need time to grow and mature, and that sometimes we don't see any results until many years down the road. I am still praying that God will help to still my impatient heart, and let them have room to slowly grow up.
:: They need relationships, more than activities or enrichment.
I've been reading about positive parenting, and have been reminded about how discipline needs to stem from having a close bond with our child. Many times I wonder if they are acting up because they are bored, and whether keeping them more occupied with activities would help. But even if I try to keep them occupied, most of the times the fights still happen, and we still get the usual tantrums, simply because they are children, and not perfect. I've realized what matters is for me to work on my relationship with them, and the heart issues, and that the head issues would sort themselves out.
:: Getting along with people is others is not easy, but we must keep working on it.
They have been fighting all the time. Especially the younger two, who both have fiery tempers and would take a go at each other with their fists and legs. We keep talking things through with them, we keep praying, and I hope they will learn, in time to come. I can't say things are getting better, but we can only try (Side note: I found this article very helpful for dealing with siblings.). I guess siblings are really a good way to learn socialization skills!
:: Simple is always best.
They are easily contented with the simple things. A cheese sandwich in the lunchbox. Swinging high on the swings. A good story, read while snuggling on the sofa, or a bus ride to co-op. They don't need much material things.
This week, I am thankful that we are always learning, and even parents get to learn precious lessons from our children. May God give us strength and wisdom to continue down this long and winding road of parenting!