Archives for January 2016

01.07.16

It’s a process.

It’s a process, it’s a process, it’s a process, change takes time.

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Lately i’ve found myself getting frustrated with how bossy and demanding my two year old is towards other children. Sometimes my responses to her strong leading spirit are not always in line with a gentle parenting approach. As I’ve put some thought into how I want to teach my daughter how to be loving and thoughtful towards others I have also considered who she is as a person. Her name is Beatrice. Meaning: Wild and Joyful, leader and organizer. Yes, this is who she is to a “T.”

How might our parenting approach look different if we took into account what qualities and skills our children possess? As a mother I want to be so careful not to crush her spirit, rather I want to lift up and encourage those qualities. But how do we do this? I believe we do this by really watching our children interact with other children. When I see her bossing another child around I can say to her gently that “maybe she could ask if the other child would like to do that”, or maybe instead of scolding her I could encourage her to keep being a leader, teaching her to demand action in a kind and loving way. You see her leadership skills will serve her so well in life as she grows older, but they can also serve her well right now at two years old. She is a leader, encourager, organizer, and loyal friend. She is still learning what it means to lead and organize her stuff. If we let our children be who they are they will be so much happier. May we find other ways to encourage and speak into who they are instead of tearing them down.

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 In the process of life it takes time for children to explore and understand their feelings and emotions. It takes time for us and them to figure out exactly who they are. It takes time for our children to fully understand failure, compassion, and sympathy. It takes a daily selfless heart to help them learn how to share or how to direct their feelings of outrage when they hit that “toddler” point in life. Whether you’re an adult or child life is a continuous process of learning to love more softly, give compassion more easily, and use our words to uplift instead of tear down. Each day is a gift and a chance to grow small seeds into our children.

I truly believe our actions speak louder than words in front of our children. If we want them to know sympathy, let them be apart of the emotions of losing a loved one, or the passing away of an animal. Let them see you serve others and stand along side the broken. Let them know how much you love to share your belongings with them through your words. Let them see the beauty of learning how to be still and peaceful through nature and times of rest. You see, being in a continuous process of growing in life is beautiful if we learn to grab hold of that process and embrace the growing pains. As we grow in who we are so do our children.

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When we choose grace instead of frustration, gentleness instead of anger, and joy instead of sorrow we are showing our children the qualities they already possess. Its almost like as we carry out these truths in our own life we are calling out the good and true self of who our children are and what they are capable of learning. After all, our children are very shapeable, small, important, and emotional human beings. They too are learning and figuring out how to be compassionate towards others and see themselves as wonderful people. Our children feel their lives so much deeper than we give them credit for sometimes.

Today I am encouraged to keep sowing small seeds into my child. Growing with her, beside her, and always making room for mistakes. Some days are down right exhausting and frustration can get the best of us. But we as mommas always have the chance to speak more softly, give of ourselves more fully, and widen our perspective on how children view and see their world and emotions.

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Our children awaken our hearts to feel and roar like never before. They awaken our identity and reintroduce us to ourselves in a fresh and new way. But we must be willing to grow, to learn from them, and to take their little hearts seriously. This process is slow and requires patience; however, it results in happy, fulfilled, loving, and loyal children. Take a moment today to look deeply into their eyes, to listen to their words more closely, paying attention to the little details of their lives. For one day, they will not remember if we had a perfectly cleaned house, but they will remember that they felt heard and seen by another. They won’t remember the time and patience it took for you to get here, but they will remember the tiny moments where we were present and engaged in their worlds.

Teach, live, and learn, in and through the process. Be flexible…be easy. Life is tender and often times leaves us misunderstood. Love hard, practice gentleness, seek patience, and above all give selflessly to the things that matter the most in this life. Our children and this future generation is longing to feel understood.