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Convicted

I recently signed up for a newsletter that sends a daily parenting tip from the National Center for Biblical Parenting at the recommendation of my dear blogging buddy Missy wall e dvdrip download .

I have received two issues so far, and there is only one word for the way I feel when I read these.  CONVICTED.  And it’s not an entirely pleasant feeling either.

The first one was about how we are building a tape in our children’s minds.  Basically the point was that everything we say to our children is creating a tape that will be replayed over and over.  The final point was this: “Take a moment and think about the tape you’re creating in your child’s head.  Is it the one you want them to remember?”

YEOWCH.

Last night’s tip was called Enjoying Your Child’s World.  In it, parents are encouraged to honor their children by participating in activities or conversations that interest the child — as opposed to expecting them to fit into your interests or desires.

This is an area I struggle with tremendously.  I do not like to play.  Even as a babysitter in college, I remember an employer telling me that she had recommended me to a friend and that she told her friend, “She’s not one to play, but she’s great with the kids, and she will often read to them and bake with them.”  That pretty much summed it up.

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I am much the same kind of parent as I was babysitter.  I do not play.  I do not color.  I do not do messy crafts.  I DO allow my kids to cook with me, but even that is a chore.  And now that I have two little angels vying for my counter space, I’m more likely to say, “No, not this time.”

In other words, I realize that I spend time with my kids, but on my terms.

The other side of the coin is conversation.  The author of the article pointed out that making time to talk about the things they want to talk about is also important.  I have a friend who is fond of saying, “We spend the first two years of their lives trying to get them to walk and talk and the next 16 trying to get them to sit down and shut up.”  And I always giggle, because HOW TRUE IS THAT!?

But I want to make an extra effort to listen to them when they want to talk to me, to turn away from whatever I’m doing and engage with them.  If I want them to listen to me when I have something important to say, perhaps listening to them is a good start.

The information in the article isn’t necessarily news to me; I doubt many of the parenting tips are going to be huge epiphanies, but I really need these daily reminders.  Hopefully they will be the kick in the tush I need to make some changes that will benefit my children and our family over the long haul.

I have a feeling I will be referring to these daily tips often in the upcoming weeks.

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23 thoughts on “Convicted

  1. I’m not very good at playing either. I know it though, and I try sometimes to make an effort…I find it easier with the older child alone. I like to sit and WATCH them play (and occasionally check my BB for Twitter and Email) but getting down on the floor or running around in the sweltering heat is just not my idea of fun. *sigh*

  2. I am the exact same way with playing. But you know when the school asks of the one thing they love that mommy does with them, their answer is always when she plays with me. But I do love to color so I do that as often as they ask.

    One other thing I had a mentor tell me she tried to remember is the faces she made towards her kids. I try to remember that along with my words.

    Thx so much for the rec on the emails, I just signed up!

  3. I think about this, too. I did play with my kids when they were very young but not much anymore…. Isn’t that what dads are for? Kidding. I only have boys, though, and my husband does play with them a lot. I often feel guilty that I don’t play with them more but my mom didn’t play with us and I think she was/is a fantastic mother.

    I guess what I’m saying is that you sound like a very good mom so don’t be too hard on yourself. Maybe I’m just trying to make myself feel better?! 🙂

  4. I feel the same way about playing. I’ll actually make an attempt to play with my 3 year old with her cars or zoo, but after a few minutes I’m…bored. I do like coloring or painting with her though.

    And I even hated crafts as a child, so I leave that up to school!

  5. In the hubbub of daily life, I know that I definitely need reminders about how to live biblically – especially when it concerns my parenting!

  6. I think you need to keep in mind when reading Christian articles on both parenting and marriage that this is the author’s interpretation, not strict Biblical mandates. There are a lot of good ways to be married and a lot of good ways to be a parent. Sometimes we get caught up in our world and forget how to see it from another’s situation (due to different personalities, cultures, etc). I think this is why some articles expect every Christian home to look like theirs, even though there are a lot of ways to be!

    So, in a nutshell, don’t beat yourself up for being different!

  7. Heidi, you make a good point. But this is an area that I’ve been kind of convicted about lately – with one particular child, anyway. I think in our situation, she really needs me to take an interest in her and in her interests. I realize that doesn’t mean I need to sit down and play Polly Pockets for hours on end (OY!) but I do need to try to make time to do things she wants to do, even if I don’t want to. Perhaps it has more to do with her personality. The others don’t seem to need that from me.

  8. I’ve been getting that newsletter for awhile and even though my kids are teenagers, it’s just as convicting. The lessons are sometimes applicable to ANY age. Thanks for sharing.

    This is my first visit to your website. I love your design and colors and fonts. Great job!

  9. I always wondered as a kid why my Mom wouldn’t play with me but as a Mom myself now I understand why. I think the pressures of the everyday get to us and we just don’t think we can take the time to sit and “just play”. I am with you on every level except I didn’t even like to babysit when I was a teenager. I refused to! LOL.
    Hugs.
    Kim

  10. Same here: I don’t like to play much. I figure that’s why I had TWO kids, plus I’ve provided access to school and church friends! However, it is something to think about. And I do look for interests that we can do together, that I don’t mind doing. We read together, and she likes to scrapbook with me. So I plan to do some simple crafts over the summer, and we are going to read a couple of classic kids’ books, then watch the movies.

    I do make an effort to let them help me cook, especially baking when it’s not a stressful time when I’m trying to cook dinner. That’s because my mom didn’t let me help much, and I didn’t know how to cook anything when I got married!

  11. Um, yeah, reading that post did not make me want to get the emails. Or maybe it did, if I can handle that feeling daily. Also, we could switch kids and they might not notice because I parent pretty much the same way you do.

  12. I have trouble playing with my girls as well. I will do puzzles or play a card game, but sitting around just playing or playing in the sand box is not my idea of fun. I try hard to play with my girls but I have to admit that my husband is 1000 times better at it than me.

  13. Hmmm….my mom worked while i was growing up and rarely played with me. As an adult, I don’t need therapy or any psych meds and so I tend to feel like she did something right. I never felt like my mom should be my playmate.

    I also don’t have a “tape” in my head of things she said to me that have just stuck over and over and over. I DO remember that she was always at my games and activities, took amazing road trips together and was a great mom. But I honestly don’t remember her being “engaged” in my world and I’m pretty sure she wasn’t.

    Hopefully you don’t mind a dissenting voice here every now and then, but I am so sick of all the “advice” that we just have to be so 100% “there” for our kids. You know what my best memories are ? Running loose on my grandparents land, discovering the pond, finding the neighbor kids, biking all over town. I think we need to be LESS there sometimes and encourage our kids to find their own fun.

    :::don’t meant to sound like a grump::::

  14. Susan, LOL. I don’t think you sound like a grump. 🙂 And I DEFINITELY think there is a time for letting the kids just BE. And I don’t think it is a parent’s job to be a playmate either.

    I guess the article convicted me because I often feel that I don’t do enough with my kids. But I do think in our current culture, there are some who are way too involved in their kids’ play. It’s a balance.

    Also, the article wasn’t just about playing. It was the big picture — talking with them about their interests, taking them to do things THEY want to do, not just things I want to do, etc.

    But I agree with a lot of what you said.

    The tape thing, I guess I have to disagree. SO much of what my mom told me comes back to me. Fortunately for me, most of it is positive. 🙂

  15. I can’t believe how alike we are and how ashamed I suddenly am. I never really realized this about myself but now, well, I’ve got a new perspective.

    I signed up for that newsletter as well. Thanks for the blog… It was a wake up call.

  16. I truly suck at playing, too. THANKFULLY Matt actually enjoys it so since we have boys I’m a teeny bit off the hook? No? ug.

  17. Thanks for being honest about your parenting style and philosophy. This was a great reminder to me. “Playing” isn’t my favorite thing to do either, but I know that it’s a special gift to my daughters when I take the time to listen and laugh and focus in on them instead of thinking of all of the millions of things I have to get done. I need to do that more often.

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