Saturday, December 10, 2011

Some Practical Parenting

Some parenting books irk me so much.  And I don't know what it is about Reformed Christians -we (I guess I am still unofficially including myself in this group) seem to overcomplicate and theologize everything to the Nth degree.  I just want simple.  I want to know what I can do, and I like instructions.

This entry is written about something I've really come to appreciate the importance of.  I'm not very good at multi-tasking.  When I am forced into a situation where I am pressured to handle more than one thing immediately I tend to get stressed out, and then when I finally sit down to do something for myself I do not want to be bothered.  So, this practical parenting item is very tough for me and really hits home:

Put in the time and effort to handle the situation properly the first time.

Instead of sitting there in your desk chair, engrossed in Facebook or maybe even something important like your job (if you work from home like I do), yelling impotent and completely unenforced commands and threats across the house to your mischief-making little miscreants, which only get louder and angrier the more you see they do not respond and obey you, building until you explode and storm out there slamming and yelling (all of which wastes time and energy, frustrates your child, and leaves you just feeling guilty later after you flip out), take the time to...

stop...
get up...
walk out there...
get down on their eye-level...
be clear and firm...
handle any discipline swiftly and immediately, such as walking your child by the hand to their bedroom for a time-out...
make sure they comply with your instruction...
without yelling...
before you get to the point where you are going to explode...
all of which takes about three minutes and usually resolves the situation, restoring peace to the home.

While this seems like way too much effort, because you don't want to get up and stop what you are doing, you will feel better about it and it will actually accomplish something, requiring much less time and emotional energy overall.

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