Friday, September 19, 2008

Every Choice Has a Consequence...

We had a wonderful day today, attended our 2nd MOPS meeting. Da'Gorgeouses left me at the door again, didn't look back once. It was okay this time, I knew they felt safe, were happy to be with their little friends and were excited to start playing. Today's lecture was on discipline and changing the heart. Good stuff, but what stuck with me the most was what she said at the end, "We need to praise God and thank Him for choosing us to raise that strong-willed child. There's a reason that child is so strong-willed, he/she needs it for something and may someday light the way!" I really think that my strong-willed children would not be here today if not for that stubborn inner strength that helped them survive those long NICU days. There were things they endured during those first 90-100 days of their lives that I seriously doubt many adults could have survived, yet their strong-will carried them through. So instead of letting my discipline become a battle of wills, I need to approach it as a chance to teach Pistol and LongRifle how to make the right choices. There will come a day after all that I won't be around, and they need to internalize the fact that every choice they make in life will have a consequence.

She also said something else, that we need to let them see that we as parents struggle daily too. Oftentimes that can be just as powerful as when we discipline them. That's true. The other day they were just acting crazy and getting out of control, I was tired and at my wit's end and felt as if I were ready to blow a gasket. What was the sense of trying to discipline and calm them when I was frustrated and upset myself? So I set them down in their cribs, looked at them screaming and yelling and crying at me and said, "Look, I know you're upset right now, but mommy needs a time out. I'm mad right now and I need to take a time out. I need to calm down and when I do I'll be back in to get you." Wouldn't you know that they stopped crying and listened to every word I said? I closed the door, headed to the recliner, closed my eyes and started counting to 10. Once I got there I reevaluated how I felt and then kept counting and breathing until I got to 100. Then I calmly got up, walked into their rooms and gave them a hug. Pistol hugged me hard, pulled back and looked at me and said, "You need a time out?" Nope, I'm all better now. She smiled at me and we were able to move on with our day, everyone feeling a lot better than we had 5 minutes earlier.




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