Sunday, November 15, 2009

Submitting & Discipline.

I am a "yes" mom. Or at least I try to be. It's very difficult with 2 toddlers under the age of 3, but I am learning. Every day I am to deflect, redirect their attention, stretch my patience, be on their level, tend to their emotions and feelings, be in tune to how they are learning and what I can do to help without shattering their ideas or ambitions of the situation we may be in. It's tough, but I feel like I truly am learning.

Their dad is more of a "no" dad. Much quicker to be firm, his approach of disciplining is rather different from mine. He wants to maintain structure, teaching the children what they can and cannot do with very little room for their need to waiver. He is sometimes much quicker to just send the kids to the corner without going to them and discussing the issue at hand.

I find this is one of the greatest difficulties in parenting our children. You see, I have this deep rooted desire to be submissive to my husband in a biblical way. I yearn to fulfill my calling as a wife who is able to still have an opinion and a sense of voice. I yearn also to be able to look at my husband and understand that he is the head of our home. Now I know our generation in general struggles with leadership and authority. It's obvious in many areas of our country as a whole. Just me writing about submitting to my husband is a huge turn off to some of you. And it's understandable...because I struggle with it too. In fact, it is one of my greatest convictions and deepest faults. But I have a desire to learn and a will to change, and I know God is teaching me. It is going to take time. Prayer. Courage. But I am learning.

So back to our children--
When their father tells them "Nora, please get off the coffee table. We do not jump on furniture. If you do it again, you're going to be sent to the corner," and Nora does it again, Daniel quickly puts her in the corner. I know this is not wrong. She is 3 years old and she understands the consequences to her actions, especially when she has been told. However, because I am home with the kids all day long I suppose I have learned to choose my battles. In this case, I would probably count to 3, deflect from the fact that she disobeyed the rules, talk to her about why she needs to obey and respect her mommy when I talk to her, ask her not to do it again and then move on with whatever we are going to do next. Now obviously if she did it again, we would take a walk to the corner or up to her room for a time-out.
For me, it seems so calm, relaxed and gentle. A loving approach to teaching our children rather than an aggressive approach to disciplining them.

I do feel like their are times I tell the kids "no" about something that I might typically not worry about, because I know that Daniel doesn't approve of what they are doing or that he wants to teach them differently. I suppose that is not such a bad thing, except that I sometimes feel guilty for doing so. They are, after all, just little. They are just learning and kids are going to be kids. I feel like there should be some leniency in certain situations or else we are stealing from them the ability to be little. They may seem ornery, but in reality, they're just kids. Little, learning, delicate kids.

I am not trying to write about how I am the greatest, most patient mother who does everything correctly. Nor I am wanting to slander my husband for his approach to parenting our kids. Neither are necessarily right and I feel like most young parents will probably find themselves agreeing with this post in more ways than one. A marriage is about compromise and I am learning that so is parenting. And it is difficult. But we are learning, and we are ok with that.

Daniel and I not only talk often about our parenting, and disciplining choices but we also spend time praying about them; both separately and together. Our hearts are set on God and He will always remain our focus. I truly know that as long as we stand on the foundation that cannot be shaken, we will continue growing, changing and learning in the way that the Lord would have us to. It is most definitely a challenge, but generally it is so enjoyable!

After talking to Daniel about how I feel, I have noticed him being more patient and gentle. Sometimes I have to remind him or talk to him about something that I may disagree with, but I am trying much harder to do it at a time when our children are not around instead of in front of them. This was becoming an issue as I was condescending everything he was doing, therefore letting our children think that he had no leverage in terms of discipline. This was wrong and I know it. I'm working on it in many ways and trying to take a step back and trust that the Lord will continue teaching us both in our own separate ways.

After expressing to me how he feels, I have tried to take a slightly more firm approach in certain situations. We are not negotiating anymore; the kids and I. They listen or they sit in their room for a 2 or 3 minute time-out (depending on their age.) Nora almost always comes out right on time saying, most recently, "I am sorry for yelling at you mommy. I just love you."
Whereby I reply, "It's ok, Nora. Thank you for apologizing. I forgive you."
And we go on our way.
A few minutes later she will come to me and say, (almost always), "I forgive you for putting me in my room and hurting my feelings mom."
Thanks, baby. You're a good girl.

So you see, I am not Ramee-perfect-wife. I am not Ramee-perfect-mom.
I struggle with certain areas and as the kids grow, different things are becoming a challenge. Things that I did not anticipate. But the Lord gave us these kids as a heritage. We are standing together, praying firmly and trying to live according to scripture. Some may not agree with certain approaches, but we are confident in that which the Lord is teaching us.

How do you discipline your children?
Who is the primary disciplinarian?
Do you struggle with submitting to your husband's discipline, especially after you have been home with the kids all day?

I cannot wait to hear your thoughts on this!
Have a great Sunday.
We lead worship tonight at service and are excited to see God do marvelous things!
He has shown up and is near. Can you feel Him?

1 comment:

Tiffany said...

Oh, I wish I had more time this morning, but I do not! I missed reading this somehow, and I WILL be back to write a book . . . err comment. {wink}