July 28, 2013

Raising Children

There are days that I look at my kids and I wonder if I am cut out to do the job that I have been given. I know right now Paul and I are doing a good job of raising our kids, well at least in our eyes! But I will be honest to say I am scared, worried, and clueless on how to parent kids as they grow into tweens and then teenagers. I really am just fine if my kids never get older than six.
 
I think what scares me the most is looking at my children who are still so innocent and knowing they won't always be this way. I don't want to see them go through times of being hurt, feeling neglected, lonely or having to face the hard times to learn the lessons of life. I know we all had to do this but as mama bear I just want to protect my kids as long as possible. I am already watching Natalie & Aubrey learn that not all kids are nice. That there are people out there who take kids while they are playing in their own front yard. That people die and go to heaven. These things scare them and often will send tears down their cheeks because they just are not quite old enough to truly understand but old enough to be scared of these things.
 


I also wish there was a handbook on how to raise kids who will grow into respectable adults. How do we instill the values in them that they will need to guide them through the rest of their days? They test their limits to see what they can get away with and we often have to explain the rights and wrongs of being 5 and 3. They understand there are consequences for misbehaving but taking away their bedtime stories will someday not be enough. We often hear the older kids say 'God is watching you' to each other when one of them is doing something wrong and I hope they will know that their heavenly Father is always by their side and with Him they are strong enough to walk away from any peer pressure as they get older. Our family has values and I can only pray that we are doing the best job we can at making these a way of life for our children.



Paul and I were both good kids growing up. Neither of us pushed against our boundaries. We respected our curfews. We didn't sneak out to parties. I sassed back and showed plenty of attitude which probably hasn't changed much if you ask my family! Paul, well I don't think he ever did anything wrong and I truly mean it. So what did our parents do that got us onto the straight and narrow path early in life? This is the question I find myself asking a lot these days as my little man comes up sporadically throughout the day and tells me he loves me. When do children start walking down paths that are far more difficult than they need to be on? I wish there were signs on the road of life that would tell you to yield; the choice you are about to make will be one you regret later on. I want my children to have experiences, to make choices of their own and to also learn from these but in the end I want them to come out unharmed.
 


As the girls enter into the world of school I know it is a place that they will have so many wonderful times but I also know this is the time that we start to let go and have to rely on what we have exampled in our family over the last five years. Thankfully days of coloring, snacks and climbing on the monkey bars will be what they face this year but I know the days of classroom bully's, drugs, sex, and other things I am not ready to explain to my kids will be upon us. I am not ready for them to have to stand up against these and other pressures that are found in schools these days. I hope Paul and I are raising kids who will not be tempted by society.
 

So for today I am going to enjoy the task of washing my kids up after meals, of playing dress up with pretend make-up and bedtime tickles because it means my babies are still little. And for those who have raised your children to be adults what advice do you have on allowing children to grow and become independent but yet protect them from the world that at times is not so friendly? I am not sure I am ready for the next stages in life but I will be here for my children each and every step.


If you follow us on Instagram (thelittlestlesnaus) than you have already seen these but they are too cute not to post!


BROTHERS

A quick trip with mom to the grocery store.


Only 4 minutes separate these two!


Spiderman Toes


"It's 10pm and I am the only one awake with mom and dad to myself."



5 comments:

  1. I think you are doing exactly what God wants you to do and you are doing it perfectly! I admire you! Beautiful children!
    Lori

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  2. You guys are doing a great job because you have the desire to raise Godly children in His image and the gumption to do what it takes. I truly think these things come to us as parents and it's deciding to put in the time and energy it takes to instill those values that makes the ultimate difference! But at the end of the day, children will grow into adults that make their own decisions and I know we both want to feel confident that we did our best, did everything we could, to make them the best they could be.

    Love the bathtub pics, all the kids look great!

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  3. Love the pictures! And you are wrestling with many of the same things we are. It's important for us to raise good, moral, ethical, polite kids. How to do that in a society that doesn't always value those traits? And I live in fear of the kids getting exposure to things that I would rather they not know, at least not until they are older. It's hard to be a parent these days, the best we can do is be a coach and guide for our kids and talk with them about it honestly and be a good example. At least that's the theory I'm going with. :-)
    Celeste

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  4. Oh girl, I am with you in these fears. I think leading by example is a huge piece of raising children to be the adults we hope they become. You and Paul ARE doing a great job.

    So funny how Tate and Kenzie have such a size differential like Harper and Sydney who were born in the same minute.

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  5. With every mistake that we make we discover more and more about ourselves, about who we are, about our limits, about our capabilities, about what we can and cannot do. Mistakes help us be more compassionate and more tolerant with ourselves and others.

    If they don’t make mistakes how can you expect your children to GROW and to EVOLVE as human beings? I hope they don't get stuck because they allow the fear of making mistakes and "God is watching you" to paralyze them.

    One of the greatest lesson your children will learn from making mistakes is forgiveness. With every mistake that they’ll make, they will learn how important it is to forgive themselves and many of the people around them. They will understand that they are not perfect (and their parents are not perfect) and that perfection doesn’t really exist in this life, only our intentions of doing our best. I think Christians don't really believe this, but I believe that perfection leaves no room for improvement.

    Best of luck to your kiddos!

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