The Amazing Race
The Rules for the Judges
Ever since I was little I had a feirce hate for child abuse. After observing some people I realized at a younger age how some discipline could easily cross the line into abuse. My parents where strict but good. They spanked me with a spoon but never crossed a line. Although this was their way of discipline, I myself never wanted to spank my kids. I wanted another solution to discipline. When I got pregnant with son number one my husband and I sat down alot and had deep conversations with our own rules for not only our sons but ourselves. Everyone has a different way of parenting as every child is different. I'm not saying these rules will work all of the time. This is just what my husband and I go by. Please do what you know is right.
Rule 1- Do what you say. If you tell your child "I'm taking this away if you do that agian." and they do it agian then go through with it. If you don't follow through the older they get the less they'll lissen. As I am only a human this is something I struggle with once in awhile. Thats why we came up with rule number two.
Rule 2- If your stressed don't speak. If your extremely stressed at the time its better to not blurt out a punishment. Saying things like "forever" or "never agian" aren't very realistic. Instead try to say things like "your not getting that back for awhile". Leaving them hanging is better then leaving them with something you'll regret saying later.
Rule 3- Absolutely no name calling. I'm the parent not the child. A child already deals with name calling from other children. As a parent your surpose to be the one who doesn't put that on them. Your the one who will give them the strength to stand up for themselves when it seems like the world is agianst them. How can they stand up when their own parent tears them down?
Rule 4- Put yourself in time out. I try my hardest to discipline out of love not anger. Like everymother I do get stressed. To say I didn't would be a lie. To ensure I follow my other rules sometimes I need to drop the situation and regroup. I put my child in a safe place, then take a minute to drink some water and calm myself down. Usually after I calm myself down I can re enter the situation with a clear mind. This helps resolve the problem alot faster.
Rule 5- Don't be afraid to forgive yourself. Every parent makes a mistake. Sometimes though if you don't fogive yourself that mistake can turn into more mistakes. You may feel so bad about what you did that it holds you back from being the best parent you can. Sometimes you feel bad that you accidently take it out on your child even more. Forgive yourself so your child will forgive you.
The Race Begins
I was very surprised when I had my first son. He was such a great baby. He slept through the whole night at only one month. He barely cried. He was always happy. I didn't even have to scold him once his whole first year. I remember thinking "People are crazzy. Having a baby is alot easier then everyone told me." I saw babies throwing trantrums in the stores and thought " I'm so glad that will never be my child." And so the race began. I deffenitly felt what its like to have your foot in your mouth right after his first birthday. It was 7 in the morning and this was my first time going to a food bank. I bundled my little angel up and headed out to go stand in an hour line for $5 worth of bread, fruit, and vegies. At first he did great. Then after about 30 mins of waiting he started to a little anxious. Next thing I knew he was full out screaming. I tried patting his back, singing to him, I picked him up, I tried letting him walk. Nothing was working. After about 30 mins of this I had the whole line looking at me. All those judging eyes. All the people getting irritated. At that minute I decided I would always do my best to judge other parents through a heart of compassion and not negativity. The more he screamed the more I paniced. So I did what any other strong headed woman would do. I left the line, went to the parking lot, and called my husband to come pick him up and take him on nice long car ride. Turns out as soon as he saw my husband he stopped crying and fell asleep. The worse thing surprisingly was getting back into line. All those eyes that once starred at me with irritation now came at me with disbelief. A few people asked what I did with my son. One lady then asked " Did you leave your son in the car?" I almost felt like having a tantrum like my son. "No his dad came and picked him up." I just couldn't believe after not freaking out or getting irritated once during his whole freakout people would actually assume that. Then I tried to just look at it as at least people where concerned. It would be a real problem if no one was worried.
Theres no Break from this Race
As he got older I learned how to handle the tantrums alot better. Redirect him when he's about to have one, time outs, and losing toys seemed to be the best solution. He was already growing into a very mature toddler. We could usually talk when he had a freak out and he calmed right down. So about a year ago I just turned 22, my sons now two an a half, my other sons just turned one, and I'm 4 months pregnant. I know some people don't like the fact I had so many close but they are all very close to eachother which I love. My husband just got a new job and I'm with the kids alone for most of the day. Well this day was going extremely well. Everything couldn't of been better. So I get comfortable. I know some of you more experienced mom are thinking "What are you doing getting comfortable?? Thats not allowed after you become a mom." Well at the time I didn't realize that as a parent when you feel comfortable that means either your child is doing something they're not surpose to be doing, or they're about to do something they're not surpose. So you know I'm just relaxed making some Mac-n-Cheese for lunch when my son comes in and asked for some strawberry milk. "Yeah that sounds good" I thought. I didn't really put to much thought into it. So I make him a cup. Mind you this is the powdered kind of strawberry mix. I give him his and decide I want a cup. Before I get a chance to make mine the Mac-n-cheese is almost done. I leave everything out not thinking about it and finish my first task with the Mac-n-Cheese. I get done, make my son a bowl and decide to put a cookie next to it for being so good all day. I go into his room to tell him his lunch is done, and to my surprise, his room is a huge pink powdered strawberry off road tack. He had made little strawberry mountians and decided to race monster trucks across them.
If You Can't Beat Them Join Them
I understand how crazzy as a parent one feels sometimes. You are constantly being tested. Your strength, your wit, your patience, and your understanding. Its a never ending cycle of learning and teaching. The only way to win this amazing race to become one with your child. To look at life through their eyes and remember you where one once. They are not your shoulder to cry on, your punchline in your jokes, your substitute parent for when you just don't want to deal with their siblings. They are not only there for your convience or when you need attention. They are the greatest gift you as a human could of recieved. They are blessings. In this race you only get one chance after you cross that start line. Make it a race worth running.