31 August 2007

{Parenting}

Raising Sidney is the toughest and most fulfilling job in the world--and the one job that I have felt the least prepared.
I want to be more fulfilled as a parent--and I want to enjoy Sidney more.
Here is a LIST of things that I would like to work on.

--Sidney's self-esteem
Sidney is a tough kid. Always has been. In the last few months I have seen her self esteem dwindle a bit...and it's because of my reactions to things. My tone of voice, my body language, and my expressions are being absorbed by Sidney. My words and actions as a parent affect Sidney's self-esteem more than anything else. I need to let Sidney know that everyone makes mistakes and that I love her, even when I don't love her behavior--no matter how I react.


--Catch Sidney being GOOD
"Sidney's don't do that", “Sidney put Molly down", "Don't be such a baby"...I find that I am criticizing far more then I am complimenting Sidney. How would I feel if Steve (my boss) treated me with that much negative guidance, even if it was well-intentioned? I am making a point of finding something to praise Sidney on everyday. I will be generous with rewards--my love, hugs, and compliments. Soon I think I will find Sidney will be "growing" more of the behavior I would like to see.

--Set limits and be consistent with my discipline
Discipline is necessary. My goal is to help Sidney choose acceptable behaviors and learn self-control. Sidney test my limits that I have already establish but she also needs limits to grow into a responsible adult.
I need a system in place: one warning, followed by consequences such as a "time out" or loss of privileges. My common mistake with Sidney is the failure to follow through with consequences when rules are broken. BEING CONSISTENT TEACHES SIDNEY WHAT I EXCEPT.

--Make one-on-one time with Sidney

--Be a good role model.
Sidney learns a great deal about how to act by watching me. Before I lash out or blow my top in front of her, I need to think about this: is this how I want Sidney to act when she is mad?


--Be flexible

--Show that my LOVE is unconditional
How I express my corrective guidance makes all the difference in how Sidney receives it. Make sure Sidney knows that although I want and expect better next time, my LOVE is there no matter what.

--Be aware of my own limitations
I am NOT a perfect parent.
I have strengths.
I have weaknesses.
Ability--I am a patience mom
Weakness--I need to be more consistent with discipline.
I need to be more realistic with my expectations for myself and Sidney. I don't have all the answers. I need to be forgiving of myself. I am going to focus on the areas that need the most attention rather than trying to address everything at once.
Wish me luck everyone.

1 comment:

Kairlotta said...

These are very wise things to practice, for any parent. You are a great mother Hilary. You are the most patient and loving person I have met. I don't think I have ever heard you yell at your kids. Hang in there. Choose your battles well.

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