Monday, August 22, 2011

This Moms Struggle

I love Kembry.

I do.  And I'm not just reminding myself of this fact.

However, she has put me through the course.  And off and on for a long time, I've oscillated between, "Why is she so horrible," to "Why am I such a bad mother?"

Finally, I decided it's all my fault.

That's right Kembry.  Take that to your therapist in 20 years!

So I went to Dr. Google to figure out how to better myself.  I read and read for hours, then days, taking notes and praying about what I read.  I felt so good as I was reading, and felt the notes I took were inspired.  I had a plan.  And it was going to work.  No matter who I had to kill in the process.

One of the things I learned about my little 4-almost-5 year old is that she is not necessarily A.D.D. ( I was to the point of trying to get her diagnosed) but that she was simply over stimulated by lack of guidance.  There was a room full of toys, and she still managed to find nail polish and commit the "Terrible Awful".  We had a fabulous backyard with child wonders scattered everywhere, and she still put sand on the trampoline.

Why couldn't she just play with the toys?  Why couldn't she just swing or jump or dig?  Why oh why oh why was she so naughty?

Kembry is my second child, and I think I was putting a lot of 5/6 year old expectations on her.  Not only the age, but the child.  Cohen was such a good kid.  He always played with the toys, he never got into things he wasn't supposed to.  He never ate 1lb of chocolates.  He never played with knives.  And so I thought Kembry should be just like him.

My new attitude about Kembry has helped tremendously.

I encourage and praise her good behavior.  At first it was hard.  I would say very general things, like, "You're such a good girl," and I think even she could hear the deception in my voice.  Then, because I was really looking for it, I noticed the little, wonderful things she did.

"I love how you shared with your brother.  I really appreciate you cleaning up your dress up toys.  Thank you for helping Chloe play with that book.  You're such a good girl."  And now I really meant it.  At first they were few and far between, we had a lot of bad behaviors to weed out of her, but now she's consistent.  And so am I.

We do regular snacks.  We keep the TV off until 10.  It's off at snack time and lunch.  We have quiet time.  We have play time.  We have get-all-noisy-and-crazy time, because little ones need it.

We're still learning.  I still lose my patience and she still sneaks off to the bathroom to make a mess, but we're doing much better.

I'm so grateful that my Father in Heaven has answered my prayers and blessed me with guidance and patience.  I want to be a good mother.  I want Kembry to be happy.

One of the lessons I read advised me to write a list of who I wanted Kembry to be in 20 years.  I cried as I listed all the things I hoped for her.  A testimony of her Father in Heaven.  A love for books.  Happiness.  Self-esteem.  It made every action I make today seem so much more powerful.  Telling her she's good and meaning it, loving her without exception, like her Heavenly Father, hugging her, laughing with her.

Good luck fellow mothers.  Don't give up just yet.  Take a five minute break when they do those naughty little things, and then discipline them.  Don't get angry.  Show love.  And most importantly, take care of yourself.  No one likes a mommy with low blood sugar.

Look past the hardships of today.  Focus on eternity.  And who knows, "one day these children may grow up and call us blessed."  Marjorie Hinckley

(P.S.  I need to tell you how much your comments mean to me.  It is so empowering to know I'm not alone in all of this.  To know there are other women, possibly men, that struggle with the same weaknesses as me.  Thank you!)


April said...

We'll see how I handle my own kids in a few years, but I've had some similar experiences in working with little kids in elementary schools and (most recently) daycare. When they are regularly naughty it's so hard to be patient! But I found too that I just had to look REALLY hard for the small good things that they did and sincerely try to compliment them when I saw those good things and it really did make a difference in their behavior. I think it's a lot easier to deal with naughtiness when you know that in a few hours you can go home and get away from them, but when it's our own kids and we can't ever really get away from them it's all the more important to be consistent with praise of their good behavior. Anyway, I just pray that all my kids will be naturally well behaved. And they probably will because I'm so naturally well behaved and they'll be just like me... haha.

The Finlinsons said...

I admit that its been a while since I've read your blog (or most anyone's blog for that matter)...cause it was summer and I was moving, vacationing, etc. But I sure am glad that I chose today to read your blog.

All I really wanted to say was "Amen."

It is truly incredible how much difference there is in Eden's attitude and actions when I'M the one who does the changing. When I'm lazy, let her watch a lot of TV, don't give structure, and don't get off the couch to pay a little more attention to her when she's being good...that's when the Eden I don't adore so much appears.

I'm truly impressed that you spent so much time and effort studying out the problem, going to Heavenly Father for his guidance, and really making goals. I think Heavenly Father gave me the hint to click on your blog to show that there are others like me and to inspire me to be better.


Cheyenne and Seth and Co. said...

Agreed. Again. I love so much to be reminded that we do not have to raise these precious little ones alone. That someone loves them even more than we do, and knows them inside out and has all the answers, if we'll just ask, and knock, and seek. And then listen. Love you!!! (oh and I am totally going to write down the list of who I want them to be in 20 years. Reminds me of a wonderful quote from Elder Ballard. I'll send it to you.)

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