Patience: If You Don't Have It, Don't Have Kids!
A few years ago, before renovating our house to include a closet and my own personal workspace (yes, it's that small), I was forced to set up shop right next to my bed. One day, I walked into my room and was greeted by Ariel; one of many inanimate objects that occupies the majority of space in my house. Our eyes met briefly and I made a mental note to turn my computer off whenever I wasn't using it.
And that's when it hit me.
Creative Play Should Never Be Frowned Upon
My daughter has an exceptionally creative imagination. More often than not, I will wake to find three of her fictitious friends sitting around the kitchen table enjoying a chin-full of cookie dust, clumsily poured milk in multicolored plastic cups, and a few half-eaten bananas. The "scene" usually involves a shopping cart and an enormous amount of torn paper towels that are balled up and thrown on the floor. In the old days (i.e., pre-patience), I would have flipped out at the thought of having to clean up their mess, but this new and improved OCD mother will step over a plastic hot dog as if it never existed and continue on my pilgrimage to create the perfect cappuccino.
And I'm a better person for it.
Happiness: It's All The Rage!
Patience is a skill, not something that you can pull out on a whim. It is a carefully crafted technique that takes years (in some cases, a lifetime) to perfect, and I would highly recommend that anyone thinking of having children pay particularly close attention to my words...
When you're stressed, they're stressed... Try not to pass your short-fused torch onto your children!
Words of wisdom from an unlikely source
Relax, Breathe... It's Not The End Of The World!
At least once a month, I stumble across a parent who is fairly close to losing it. I'll stand back, watching in horror, as the vein from their forehead begins to protrude, throb and extend its way down to either side of their temple, "I SAID SIT DOWN!" they'll scream, while looking up at me with a tight-lipped, nervous smile. And that's when I step in...
"Take a deep breath," I'll advise, "They'll be out of the house before you know it!" We'll both laugh uncomfortably, knowing it's true, which is usually all that it takes to remind them not to take life so seriously.
Because it doesn't have to be.
When do YOU think couples should start having children?
Get Complete With Yourself Before Taking The Plunge
I'm glad I waited so long to have my daughter. It gave me time to get closure with my own life and let go of all my baggage, so that I can raise her in a healthy environment and enjoy this time with her. Sometimes I think about how much easier it would have been if I would have had her when I was ten years younger. I imagine being able to finger paint on the floor for hours on end without feeling like I just woke up in a nursing home. "How nice would it be," I'll wonder, "to still be young enough to enjoy life when she's out of the house and living on her own?"
But then I stumble across another young mother on the verge of a nervous breakdown and thank my lucky stars.
Keeping Your Cool
Parenting is hard. And when you make the decision to become one, you have to be willing let a small part of you go. That isn't to say that you can't have your own life, it's just that theirs should come first!
When they're babies, you have to do everything for them; you have to feed them, bathe them, dress them and think for them–just to give you an example. And when they get a little older and start testing their boundaries while you're trying to make a phone call, you've got to keep your cool and educate them in a kind and gentle way.
Remember... You are their world and without you, their world will be crushed.
National Child Abuse Statistics
- A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds
- More than four children die every day as a result of child abuse.
- It is estimated that between 50-60% of child fatalities due to maltreatment are not recorded as such on death certificates.
- Approximately 70% of children that die from abuse are under the age of 4.
- More than 90% of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way.
- Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education.
- About 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the horrible cycle of abuse.
- In at least one study, about 80% of 21 year olds that were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder.
- The estimated annual cost of child abuse and neglect in the United States for 2008 is $124 billion.
Statistics courtesy of Childhelp.
"Patience is invulnerable armor, and wisdom a sharp weapon.”
~ Gautama Buddha
Cause And Effect
I was shopping one day many years ago–before I was a mother. There was a little boy crying, for whatever reason, which could be heard from where I was standing–exactly three aisles over. By the time I made my way to the frozen food section, he was at the other end; being dragged by his arm across the floor. She was screaming at him and spanking him hard with her scorned and bitter hand. I was mortified and shouted for her to stop, but she kept walking, slapping, and humiliating her little boy all the way out of the store.
And it broke my heart.
When I got home, I was still reeling from the incident. I started thinking about that poor boy and what his life was going to be like. I wondered if his heart would ever be happy and if he'd ever understand what it felt like to be loved unconditionally.
This is how it starts," I thought... "This is how kids end up in jail, or on drugs, or doing something awful that can never be erased."
It is a simple word, but the most profound when it comes to raising children: PATIENCE. If you don't have it, you don't deserve to have them. Life is short and the answer is simple; sometimes a "mirror" is all you need to see what you've been missing… But they're useless if you don't open your eyes.
Don't just look into it; look deep!
© 2014 Lisa René LeClair