Maximum Destruction and Madusa are pictured working things out; will they be friends when it is all done?
My son’s dinky car Monster Trucks were not getting along. All I heard was a frustrated growl followed by, you are rude cheaters. Then he appeared in the kitchen and informed me they would all need to learn some manners.
Many things about parenthood surprise me. It is a daily shock and awe show.
I feel blessed. Privileged. And not just because I think my wee one is AMAZING (and he is!) but because it is an unexpected role. With that comes many surprises. A lot of emotions. Tremendous growth.
A blogger I follow posted about their own wee one feeling under the weather – something I am sure many parents can relate to, especially this time of year – and waking up in the middle of the night, to remind the blogger/parent of something that would greatly improve the situation. The blogger appeared to me to have a mixed bag feelings; there was a sense of pride (way to go kiddo, good thinking!) and a small sense of failure (why did I not think of that?). Kids will surprise you at any time of day.
I enjoy the blog. Especially those raw moments of parenthood that I can relate to as our wee ones are not far apart in age. Parenthood is not an easily travelled road. I kindly commented on the post. Something to the effect that what we view as parenting failures are sometimes really masked successes.
HOW TO SUCCEED IN PARENTHOOD: What I have learned so far.
Step 1 – Be kind and patient with yourself.
You are always learning.
You are NOT perfect.
Regardless of whether it is your first or fiftieth child you MUST remember that no two children are the same, and therefore, in my (unprofessional) opinion, the parenting of each child must be equally unique. I am sure the people with more than one child learn from their experiences things they can implement. But. If it isn’t the same child the parenting cannot be the same.
STOP ALL THE COMPARISONS.
You are always learning.
Step 2 – Be kind and patient with your child.
They too are learning.
Not only to be a human being (as if that isn’t enough!), but they are learning how you parent. They are learning to be your child. As much as you are learning to be their parent. And, without even meaning to, you are going to place all kinds of unrealistic pressures and expectations on them. Not because you are a bad parent. Because that’s what we do when we love people.
Step 3 – Adopt a new perspective and accept change.
Just as no two children are the same, no two days with a child are the same.
Don’t get me wrong, routines are incredibly important. As a diabetic, a mom, and possibly an OCD Type A-personality…but you have to have some flexibility when it comes to kids. They are new to ALL of this. Even if you do not remember being a wee one (beyond some weird brain injury/memory problems like moi) think of the last time you tried anything new.
Was it weird? Was it awkward? Unsettling?
Yeah. Let that sink in, then read the bold type above again.
Step 4 – Love BIG and laugh hard. ALWAYS.
Love can complicate things.
Love may or may not conquer all.
To have the love of child is a true gift. To be loved by someone so pure and innocent is an unmatched privilege. Something to be cherished and held dear. To value and respect. Children love so fiercely. Even if they have been hurt. Even if they are not themselves loved. We could all learn something from the love of a child.
Laughter is necessary. Like air. You MUST laugh. It will keep you sane.
And, there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING like the laughter of a child. It is the sweetest sound you will ever hear. It will undoubtedly bring a smile to your face. And, if it doesn’t, I hope it at least gives your heart a tickle.
Step 5 – FORGIVENESS
You need this is life. Not just in parenthood.
Practice it. Practice forgiveness every chance you get. You are going to need it.
Some situations are inevitable. And they are going to require it.
If you neglect to acquire this there may be unnecessary hurts.
THERE’S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL. OR MONSTER JAM.
It appeared the Monster Trucks had become quite upset with each other. Some were angry. Obvious from the intense and increased revving. Followed by a few more growls. There were other sounds coming from the front room too. Some of the trucks were really sad. Disappointed by the decisions of others. They were revving, but it sounded more like whimpers.
I stood in the doorway of the kitchen. Watching. Listening. He had no idea I was doing either.
The disgruntled trucks were frustrated, rude cheaters. They were sent to our (faux) fireplace to cool out, count backwards from 10 and think about what they had done.
Hmm. This is exactly what we make him do. On the stool in the kitchen. Usually following an inappropriate reaction – like tossing a toy.
The sad trucks were comforted. He told them it was not their fault the other trucks were bad. They were told to take deep breaths. And blow it out.
Hmm. Again. This is what we use to calm him down when he is very upset.
I hear him talking to them, you see Maximum Destruction? Deep breaths help you. They make you relax and feel better. Do you feel better?
He really pays attention. Not that it is all that surprising, but I make note of this and a few changes we need to make. Like watch (WATCH) what conversations happen around those little ears. And, I guess, it would be a safe assumption that our wee one is beginning to understand (and apparently implement) our cool out techniques. Word.
Etiquette class for the trucks was intense. I did not envy them. Though I did enjoy my position in the audience. Tough as it was, they all survived.
And so will we.