This weeks SUYL is “Best Parenting Advice” – which I think it is a catch 22. I have yet to meet perfect parents, or perfect children, therefore, I don’t know if “best” is really possible. I thought it might be good food for thought as far as parenting to just post the link back to Kelly’s Blog to see what other moms have to say and I had a book to share on the subject anyway so I thought I’d post!
I’ve yet to really see “benefits” of our style of parenting in a lot of ways because I don’t believe well behaved children = well behaved adults. And really, who are we kidding, I’m the parent, and I have to “make” them do most of the good stuff they do (brushing teach, speaking to adults politely, behaving nice toward siblings, etc…) I’m hoping my kids will choose to continue using all the stuff we are teaching them, but maybe they won’t, and maybe one of them will be “that” child. I know lots of families with children in jail, drug addicts, and much worse. It breaks my heart to think about, but this is reality isn’t it? What can we do to change that? From what I’ve seen in the past 7 years as a parent, it seems parenting today is focus way to much on the child. And we forgot something really important: The world does not revolve around them. I heard that about 8 billion times growing up from my parents, but you know what? It IS reality. I don’t think kids today have much reality. They don’t understand the privelidge of the incredible things we all have. Living in a house. With running water. And what about hunger? Have they ever had to be hungry for more then 10 minutes? Chances are no. If anything, I would hope that we as parents can instill a sense of reality into our kids minds.
I remember my little brother wanted to be a garbage man when he was little. My parents totally encouraged him. In a society where social classes are instilled at a young age, I think this was one of the best things about my parents parenting style. When he said he wanted to be a Garbage man, they could have told him how special he is, and he could be something even better, like a Doctor, or a Fireman. (We’ve all heard this from a parent before!) Instead, they encouraged him to be a garbage man because that would be awesome. Think about what that showed us as kids. While this is just a small example, our perception of value as a person wasn’t based on a job. And we definitely didn’t think of garbage men any less then we would have the President. (However weird that may sound!) And really, we didn’t have any idea in our minds of who was “better” or “superior”, or what future accomplishments would make us so or what skin color, or house, or car, or fill in the blank.
I loved the book Hints on Child Training By Henry Trumbell. I will warn you: it was written in 1891 and there are some references to spankings in it so if you feel like you can’t just skip over that without it bothering you, then don’t read it. BUT, there are so many good things in this book! When I read it, I feel so convicted about the bad parent I am. How can you have good kids if you aren’t a good parent, right?! Anyway, if you haven’t read it, I would highly suggest it! (Henry Trumbull is Elizabeth Elliot’s great-grandfather, so some of you might have heard of it or know who he is!)
And here’s a picture for good measure. 😉 Our hallway is almost done. I’ve literally be procrastinating on this one for years so this is BIG!