I have a new philosophy to parenting- "Let it go". I have spent much of the last 5 years of parenting getting really bent out of shape about all the little details that really don't deserve my attention. Since I started reading this book, my eyes have been opened to the type of parent I've always desired to be, but never knew how to be. I've had to start thinking before I react, and I ask myself- Does this really matter? Is it a teaching moment or a frustration moment? Will saying anything or getting angry help shape or develop their character and heart? Should I just let it go?
I've also been parenting for myself and for the children rather than the approval of others around me. I know my kids, and if they get a little wild and crazy than they are being kids. Do they always act like that NO WAY, in fact I pray often that others will get to experience the sweetness that I do daily. For some reason (I am starting to think its a lesson from God), our children LOVE other people and they get really pumped about talking to people, playing with people and being social butterflies (geee, I wonder where they get that from?).
I like myself more right now and I like parenting more too. I have to be willing to offer more and more grace to my kids. I think about the grace I am given daily. If Jesus treated me like I was treating my children, I think I would be really miserable. The constant nagging, complaining, frustration that was permeating. That was the light bulb moment for me- I would hate having a relationship with Jesus if that is how he lead me through life.
Do I still discipline, absolutely- daily, but I try to do it from a teaching standard rather than a, "I'll teach you a lesson" standard. I don't claim to be perfect everyday and usually when I am tired I fail the most, but I am on the path to change, and I pray for grace from God for the past 5 years of parenting that I just had no clue.