Friday, February 5, 2010

Keeping an Eye on the Prize

I know it is good to focus on the end goal. The end goal in this case is shepherding my children along the path to adulthood and having them come out on the other side with a good relationship with their Savior, as kind people, and as responsible, accountable citizens of their communities. The goal is clear, but occasionally the path feels confusing and littered with obstacles.

Today's Crisis: Easton
Look at that face! Geoffrey would have you believe I have been wrapped around this little guy's finger since day 1. Possibly. But my eye is on the prize, and I try really hard to subscribe to this parenting technique.

We had a 10 minute discussion last night about PE and if he needed his winter clothes today. He was insistent that they had one more day of health class before they switched to snow sports. I said I wasn't sure, maybe he should pack his boots, gloves, beanie and snow pants just in case. I was not surprised to get a phone call at 10:45am that sounded like this:

"Mom? PE starts in 5 minutes and I need my snow clothes. Can you bring them?"

I am usually not a "bringer". My kids know this. We just talked about snow clothes last night. So I said "Sorry, this was your responsibility and you will have to suffer your consequences" I said it as sweetly as I could and I really did feel sorry for him. He wasn't upset, but I could tell he was bummed.

Then I felt sick to my stomach for the next 3 hours thinking about poor Easton either freezing during PE or sitting inside unable to participate in something really fun. I wondered if this not a great parenting idea at all. What if along with learning responsibility, my kids are learning that mom won't help me? There was a lot of thinking going on, some tears on my part, and a good friend to reassure me that I did the right thing.

Of course my first question after school was about PE. "I just picked some stuff out of the lost and found to wear. We went cross country skiing and it was awesome!" Turns out, this was only a crisis for one of us.

I'm not sure Easton learned any lessons today at all. But I am sure that I learned one in my hours of self-analysis. I learned that I need to be sure my kids hear the love part in the love and logic - that even though I'm sure I always say and they know I feel bad when they are having hard times - I need to verbalize EVERY time that I am willing to help them talk through what their possible solutions are - a crucial step of the process that I fear I often skip.

This motherhood thing can be a crazy journey sometimes - I feel lucky to be where I am and with these people!


Katie Schultz said...

I too follow the love and logic way of parenting... or try, but it is so interesting to hear the stories from kids that are in another phase. You did awesome, and I think he did learn something from this, that mom won't always be able to swoop in and save him from his mistakes. It was a perfect time for him to learn that, when the stakes were low. I wish there was a love and logic blog for me to read all these types of stories.

Mama F said...

My kids are still a little too young to apply all the love and logic principals, but I do my best! I too have a hard time remembering to be there to give them help in finding a solution. Most of my issues involve sibling fighting, and most days I want to throw the violators in the snow. I'd say only 1 in 4 times I remember to say "Would you like me to help you come up with some ideas to solve this problem?" Sometimes I wonder if trying to educate myself as a parent causes more anxiety for me. I look at other people who just make it up as they go and I wonder if I could ever do that! I think not. I guess by trying to be the best I can be as a mom I have a better shot at helping my kids be the best they can be. Right?

Gray Family said...
This comment has been removed by the author.