Monday, June 16, 2014


Today I was challenged by my nine year old.  My nine year old with red hair and the beginning of "tween" hormones, mind you.  I can blame a unstructured schedule, summer, humidity or whatnot, but it happened.  And as I looked into her defiant and angry face, I had no idea what to do. I thought of what my college education classes would have said, my parenting books, my mother in law.  But I came up with nothing.  Instead, I thought, "How does my Heavenly Father parent?"  As much as I wanted to spank her butt and call it good, I knew that wouldn't help in the long run.  It might help me to feel momentarily better, like I deserved the outlet and she deserved a spank, but really, what does that solve?  Instead of losing my mind and getting angry or attacking her, I cried.  Yes, I cried and I said, "I'm done. Everyone go to quiet time." Blake came home for lunch and found me lying in bed, an eerie silence in the house, because I don't often say "ENOUGH!" And maybe that is part of the problem?  I told him that if he came home from work and I was still lying in bed, then we had a problem.  Getting back to the defiant face of my daughter, I gave her a punishment for her disrespectful behavior.  I had her clean the basement.  It wasn't that bad, but bad enough, that she might not want to be disrespectful anymore.  She was down there for three hours.  The job was a 20 minute job.  While she was down there, I took a nap, "pinned" some stuff on pinterest, texted my wonderful friends about my woes, did some cleaning and pretty much gave up on the day.  The kids finished their jobs and got tv/computer time.  They are currently watching a ridiculous cartoon and I am really ok with it, because sometimes you just need some space.  Ideally, my kids would spend all of summer vacation engaged in arts and crafts, learning, reading, outside time and learning an abundance of new skills.  We have been in summer for two weeks and it has been great.  Therefore, we deserve an afternoon of "whatever"!  I have a hard time recognizing when I need a break.  Oftentimes, I just fill my time with more productive things, when really I just need to sit down and take a break.  I need not feel guilty for loading free songs onto my freegal account or reading a book or writing something or doing nothing!  Why do I give myself so much guilt?  Am I not a person too?  Hailey and I worked out our issue.  She apologized and we talked about the problem and I hope that the three hours in the basement helped mellow her.  Nothing like some good alone/quiet time to realize when you are being a bum.  But until next time I see that defiant look on her face, I need to remember:
  1) Love heals.
  2) Disrespect is never ok
  3) Disrespect equals chores
  4) Arguing with an irrational person will never yield good results
  5) Watching tv and being mellow is not giving up.  It is relaxing and that is ok.
I have many years of parenting to go.  I don't want to burn myself out by trying to be the most creative, the most fun, the most patient mom out there. I will be myself.  I will remember that "Mom is a person too"!  That I am grateful for these four kids who have challenged me beyond all belief and have made me better because of it.  And I will remember that moderation in all things is the answer.  Hugs and kisses are the answer.  Chocolate is the answer!  And prayer is the answer.  Here is to many more great learning experiences, good days and bad days.  And acceptance of good and bad days. 
My 9 year old

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