My New Parenting Tactic

For the past few weeks I've been hitting a major crisis point when it comes to how I parent my children. Generally I get to the end of the day feeling like I'm doing alright - I like who my children are and I think we're making pretty good steps to help them grow into pretty amazing humans. But recently, when spending time with other parents, I've been getting really worried about whether I should be tackling the same discipline issues that they are, whether I should be more structured with my day or whether I should be letting them be more independent. Should I put them on time out for more things than I do? Should I be shouting at serious issues?

It's bred this perfectionism in me that just wants my children to be these wonderful little things that never put a foot wrong, but that vision is so far from reality. Then I find myself doubting what I'm doing and second guessing all my plans. I start trying to tackle every issue with my children and I end the day feeling exhausted.

"Work on one thing at a time".

That was the advice I was recently given when chatting about the struggles of marriage. "Just pick something to work on and graft at that until it feels manageable, then work on the next thing. Break it down. You don't have to do it all at once"

I started thinking about this in respect to my parenting tactics. It seems unrealistic to work on all elements of parenting in one go. Finishing meals, sharing, being kind, putting toys away, engaging in conversations, being gentle, learning, eating healthily, getting out and exercising, the list goes on....

"Work on one thing at a time"

I'm stripping it back a little. I don't need to run myself ragged doing it all and trying to be everything for my kids. We can learn slowly and that's okay for me. I need to go easy on my kids too - they are still only babies. It's unfair of me to expect perfection from them, and in my journey to teach them grace I need to show them grace as they learn too. It's okay for them to not get things right. It's okay for them to not be perfect.

So if you see my child getting down from the table before they've finished their meal then don't worry, we're simply tackling a different issue at the moment. If you see them struggling to share, then please don't get frustrated at us, at the moment we're learning not to hit. If you see me disciplining my child in a different way to how you do then don't worry, our family is just taking things slowly. They've got such a lot to learn as children, and I want to make that ride as easy and as gracious as possible. For all of us.


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