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Intentional Parenting.

Posted on: Wednesday, September 11, 2013

 

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Parenting has been on my mind constantly. More so, intentional parenting.

It’s what I think about when I close my eyes at night and the first thing I am praying over in the morning.

I think the urgency to “figure it out” heightens as Corbin becomes more and more independent. He isn’t a baby that I can just pick up and carry away from dangers way; he doesn’t just sit contently in the middle of his play mat anymore- he is everywhere and touches demolishes everything.

As Corbin is learning to speak, to wiggle out of my arms and run down the hall giggling as I call his name; the wheels are turning in my head as well. I am learning. I am growing with him.

I am desperate to do right by him. Absolutely desperate.

I understand that I can not be a perfect parent. I can tell you a million ways I feel I have already failed him. Yet, that beautiful little face smiles up at me time and time again with outstretched arms-  palms up- making his signature “I don’t know” gesture waiting for me to wrap his little body around mine.

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People say the love for a child is just a small glimpse of the love God has for us. Incredible.

My love for my son leaves me absolutely incapacitated at times- the fears I walk through for his little life, the excitement that bubbles inside when he is so caught up in the moment with his head thrown back and that laugh, you know it, the toddler laugh that puts all other laughs to shame. The excitement is equivalent to the pride I feel when he walks through something alone- when I stand back and let him figure something out for himself.

Jame’s Dobson’s “Dare to Discipline” was suggested to us. It is proving to be a good read with solid theories and principles. I will write a more detailed review when I finish it.

One thought that the book harps on is a child’s constant questioning as to who is in charge. Though they are not verbalizing this question, it is being asked through their actions. I see this in my son. As I tell him not to throw his food on the floor and he looks down at his plate and back up at me with a smile in his eyes as he launches sweet potato across the room. We are there, folks.

For me, there is still a fine, sometimes indiscernible line between a child being defiant and him being a curious toddler. “What will happen if I do this even though mommy obviously doesn’t approve?” Constantly pushing and testing his environment.

I’ll be the first to admit I have no idea what I am doing. The desire to love and shower my baby with affection comes so natural to me. But the whys behind disciplining, the knowing when and how, these are all foreign concepts to me.

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I want to be the fun mom who allows her children to explore, who doesn’t scold constantly, who is respected but also known to laugh at the little things.

This approach may seem easy to others. I don’t remember the joking over little things as I was growing up- it may have happened, but my brain tends to remember the constant nagging and frustration that followed a mistake or act of defiance on my end.

I don’t want to sweat the little things. (The book is on my bedside table, ha. I am working on it.)

When I made the transition from pondering about my parenting to allowing the fear and anxiety to consume me, God showed up.

We walked into church on Sunday and into a new series on family. It was an introduction on the weeks to come- with a little more emphasis on the role of Christian parents in the rearing of their children. At one point, my pastor became emotional while demonstrating the nightly prayer he says over each of his daughters as he tucks them in.

He was intentional about the importance of blessing your children in this way.

I am lucky to be surrounded by people that have the same desires for their children as we do & want to support us as we walk through this parenting journey.

Be thou my vision.

 

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