Sunday, September 16, 2012

Effective Parenting

The Bible class we're taking on Sunday mornings is called "Effective Parenting in a Defective World". It's been really interesting so far- very Biblical and practical, reminding us that success of our children doesn't rely on how much stuff they acquire, what kind of job they have, the amount of money we have to give them or X, Y, and Z important items that society says are required, but more on providing ways to be independent, loving, Christians.

I'm also taking a parenting class on Tuesdays with the Ladies' Bible Study called "5 Conversations You Must Have With Your Son/Daughter". Lots of real-world application dealing with how we as mothers shouldn't speak badly against our bodies, lest our daughters overhear and think that they are fat, ugly, or in some other way not good enough.

So I've been focused a lot lately on how to be a good parent.

Yesterday, I asked Brandon if Brooklyn was such a good kid because she was born with that demeanor, or if it's our parenting. And as most good nature vs. nurture studies will agree, he said both. We get half credit, he says. I am willing to take half credit.

Yes, she got in trouble today for being ugly and loud during church. Yes, she got in trouble for not sharing and we had a struggle at dinner trying to eat before she got her milk. No, she isn't potty-trained and it looks like it isn't really happening any time soon. She's not perfect, not by far.

But last month she started giving me kisses and telling me, "I love you" without me asking her to. Just a day or two ago she began covering her mouth and saying, "Excuse me" when she burps. Except it sounds like, "Scusee", which is beyond adorable. Tonight when giving goodnight kisses, she kissed Peyton (my tummy) without us prompting her to. Melted my heart. Earlier this week she reminded ME to pray before our meal by suddenly putting her hands together and saying, "Pray?" And speaking of praying, in the past week we have been starting to ask her what or who she wants to pray for. Here are some of her favorites, from most frequently requested on:

Big Bird
Peyton (unborn brother, for those out of the loop)
Coco (Uncle Cody)
Aunt Lindsay
Sasha (cat)

I love that we have to pray for Big Bird every night. It's almost enough to make me write a thank you note to Sesame Street that would go something like this... You are teaching her to be thankful AND how to count to 20 AND how to recognize letters of the alphabet. You are amazing.

Basically, we don't have that difficult of a time raising Brooklyn and I'm so thankful for that. I know it will get harder and I have to remember the days when I just want to tear my hair out. There will be more of those days. She'll probably have terrible 2's or 3's, rebel as a teen, and go through some traumatic experiences that I will want to wish away with all my heart. I know I'll make a lot of mistakes as a mom, but for now I'm just glad that I must be doing some things right.

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