Saturday, January 2, 2010

A Lesson In Mercy

Being a parent is a tough job. I wish I could back to the days when I worried about when to start solids or if I was doing this potty training thing right. I've worked with babies and toddlers and preschoolers my whole life. I get them! Even after a horrible tantrum they are so stinking cute and you chalk most it up to their age and move on.

But big kids like my school age children are hard! I spend a lot of time second guessing myself. I get frustrated when the kids don't listen, when they are naughty, when they are irresponsible. While I love my children more than anything on this earth and consider each one my friend, I feel strongly that my job as parent is not to be their friend but to love them and set guidelines to help them succeed. I am to love, nurture, and support them, yet teach them responsibility, humility, and compassion, as well as that every choice has natural consequences.

Really what it comes down to is I have a short time with my kids and in that time I have to teach them to be responsible adults that can function in society.

Sometimes I think I am too hard, nothing is ever good enough, but I am often complimented on my children's manners and good behavior. To me it feels like chaos more often than not. If I was much more relaxed it would be complete chaos all the time.

Last night Wyn got caught lying. Not just any lie but she watched her sister get in trouble for her bad deed. This blows me away, that my children don't have the integrity to not lie in the first place, but that they will sit back and let someone else take their punishment.

We drilled FiFi about the deed after all three children swore they did not do it. I can read B pretty well and after some initial discussion was pretty sure it was not him. Wyn never lies so I really did not think it was her. Besides her tantrums, pouting, and attitude she rarely gets in trouble.

FiFi on the other hand is in the middle of a lying phase. She is 6 and get caught lying on a somewhat regular basis. FiFi is always punished for lying more severely than if she would've told the truth to start with. I remember B going through a phase of lying around 4 or 5 so I keep hoping it passes quickly.

After the truth was finally revealed, hubby and I realized we had been hounding the wrong child. We both were certain it was FiFi since she has lied to us in the manner before and never gives herself up. Boy did I feel like crap! It just proved to me that I cannot assume I know the truth. That I must show all my children mercy. Did I mention being a parent is hard?


Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

It is hard, isn't it? This parenting business. I wish they came with a manual, but I guess the best we can do is the best we can do.
oh, and your running goal? Awesome. I had a goal to run for 1 minute when i first started, then 2, then get it! YOu have to start somewhere!

Gina said...

That is tough. I remember getting busted for lying as a kid, in what was probably a similar situation. I am not looking forward to the lying stage.

Corrine said...

parenting is so hard, but thats why kids are resilient :)

Brittany Ann said...

As someone who works with teens, let me just are doing great job!

I know it seems so hard, but seriously, it will be so worth it! Their high school teachers will see the proof in the pudding if you will.

Kids test the adults they are close to, and those testing ages, frankly, are so hard, because they don't have the love they once had for you as their parent.

But hang in there! It's the right thing to do, and you're doing good! As you said, it's your job, and that's more than I can say for a lot of parents out there! It's surprising how many of them don't realize that!

Ali said...

I second that. Each age seems to come with its own trials.

Moore Minutes said...

Just reading your post makes me confident that you are an excellent parent with a big heart for your kids! Your awareness into their life will be such a blessing to them.

Debbie said...

Parenting is the toughest job around. But, I think if you know it is tough, that must mean you are doing a good job! The folks that think it is easy aren't really in the trenches.

Michelle @Flying Giggles said...

It is way hard. I am already second guessing myself at times and my oldest is three and a half. All we can do is give it our all, do the best we can and love them.

I am sure the lying is a phase, she will probably catch on that it is easier to tell the truth.

Good luck momma!

Jenny said...

I'm certainly not an expert but it seemed all three of my kids went through a "lying" phase for about six months and all three of my grandchildren are doing the same thing. There's a few good books on the market about lying...which, of course, I can't remember the titles of...One was a Bernstein Bears one but I don't even know if you can find that anymore. Good luck. Awareness is the biggest strength to stopping it and you seem to have a great handle on that. Good for you.

Karen and Gerard said...

Lying is a very bad habit. I hate being lied to so I wish you success in banishing it from your kids' lives. First thing my new boss asked me to do was to lie for him. Fortunately, he saw I was uncomfortable with that and didn't insist.

Congrats on your SITS day!