Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A little bit sticks with you

I'm a reader.  I've always been a reader.  In middle school you'd rarely catch me walking down the hallway from class to class without an open book in my hand.  I would stay up late at night with a flashlight and struggle to stay awake in my first class of the following day.  Reading allowed me to go into a world that I would never otherwise be able to go into and have adventures that as a normal person in small town MI I would never have otherwise had.  I still love reading.

As a parent the function of reading has often been different than before.  Now, I often reach for a book hoping to glean that magic piece of parenting wisdom that I feel so desperate for.  I don't read too many parenting books, or don't finish them at any rate because I tend to lay them aside to deal with the children I'm seeking help with.  Isn't that just always the way?  The true irony of parenting books is that you really only have time to read them BEFORE you are a parent.  But still I've realized recently that a little bit sticks with you.

I read a great book when my older two were little and I was probably pregnant with my 3rd.  The author encouraged allowing the children to do things that conventional parenting said they weren't really old enough for.  It talked a lot about gearing the home environment to where the kids could do a lot for themselves without a ton of parental interference.  And while I certainly don't do half the stuff the author encouraged in the book, a little bit did stick.

Because of that book the children's dishes are in a low cabinet where they can get them out themselves and put them away out of the dishwasher themselves.  Even Sierra at 2 has no trouble doing either of these things.  Because of that book I have tried over the past years to encourage my children to do as much for themselves as possible.  I suppose some could look at it as me being lazy, but really there are times when I find I have a HUGE advantage that my children can follow some basic directions given from a mom laying on the couch and function on a basic level without my constant interference.  If necessary Kayden and Colton could make pb&j without any assistance, even Sierra can peel her own clementines (once I've started it a tiny bit - but again a brother could help with that), Kayd has been known to serve breakfast completely on his own.  And I will tell you that since becoming pregnant with our fifth blessing (which the kids share their excitement about nearly every day) there have been several occasions where I have been thankful that I read that book and that a little bit stuck.  It's super beneficial to me now in this season and I know that in the future the sense of independence we're giving our kids will be beneficial to them as they continue to grow.

So even if you can't make it through an entire parenting book, be encourage that usually, from whatever you are able to read, a little bit does stick.

1 comment:

  1. Oh I hear you! I'm right there with the first trimester feeling. I've had a few bits of feeling better, just enough to encourage me that soon things won't be such a blur and I will regain my will to clean, cook, eat and drink coffee :). But I've been having the kids do as much as possible. Definitely more with this pregnancy than in the past. I don't know if it's because they are older now, or I'm just more tired. My 9 yr old and 7 yr old do their laundry now! All but the folding, we're working on that one. I love the idea of the dishes being in a place where they can reach them! I had never thought of that!