Ok…so, this post is probably LONG overdue and was probably buried under some layers of pride…but it’s a new day! I (Beth) wanted to try to document and keep record of some things that we have done, are doing, and want to do to keep on track w/ the parenting style that has deemed soooo fruitful so far – Growing our kids God’s way…now, before you roll your eyes or pre-judge, just hear me out. Will and I are both VERY schedule oriented people and scored off the scale “J” on the Myers-Briggs personality test. So, Babywise, Toddlerwise, Preschoolwise, Growing Kids God’s Way, etc. works for us. We appreciate the schedule for the babies, the intentionality with the little ones and ultimately, the overall Biblically sound, well rounded teenagers/adults we hope our girls to be.
Alright, so, we want you all to journey with us as we parent our 2 little girls currently 4.5 and 2.5 years. So, if you have any tips or tricks you did with your kiddos that worked, please suggest them! I need all the help I can get…even half way around the world!
So, this post is one of the many confessions I will have over the next <ahem> few years…so, here goes:
I failed to listen to the ever-so-wise advice that “every child is different”…
Our oldest, Maddie, is pretty black and white and has been pseudo-easy to parent over these past 4 years. Our youngest, Mahaney, on the other hand…a little more unpredictable. Now, I had always heard that “every child is different” and all that, but I have had to learn the hard way!
Since Mahaney was about 7-8 months old, our lives have been in transition, so I’ll cut her a little slack :) And since we’ve been in South Asia, I, myself have been going through A LOT of things mentally, physically, and spiritually. So, for the first 11 months or so, I would say that there were many times Will and I felt less than great parents (to put it nicely)…there was a lot of yelling, short tempers, not a lot of patience or grace…adjusting to a place different from where you grew up is hard enough, but throw a couple of sweet little girls trying to adjust to and we felt like we weren’t being fair to anyone.
So, it has taken me almost 18 months to figure it out, but Mahaney is NOT Maddie and vice versa. We put a lot of unrealistic expectations on Mahaney for too long and Will and I have had many nights full of tears and frustration (at ourselves). Now, we are trying to turn over a new leaf!
We are trying a “Nice Chart”…to promote niceness and kindness. It’s working decently so far as we are only one week into it. In a week, the girls need to be “caught being nice/kind” to someone else 5 times without me or Will asking them. By lunch on Friday, if they have indeed gotten the 5 stickers, they will get a surprise! It’s simple and easy for me to keep up with, I definitely have to write down what they were caught doing b/c at the end of the week, we discuss what each girl did and praise them for the nice deeds they’ve done. Consequently, if they are “caught being not nice/unkind”, they will lose a sticker – bummer!
This is the girls’ first week and they both got the 5 stickers! They got a cute Sleeping Beauty plate they could use the next day for lunch :) So, this is our first among many attempts to parent our two very-different sweet little girls that the Lord has blessed us with!