Parenting 101…

I remember when Karen first told me that she was pregnant. All the emotions that come with that is just exciting. Then after that when everyone found out Karen was pregnant came all their 2 cents… how wonderful having a baby is, and all the joy you get from watching them grow from babies into toddlers, and then into little kids. It all sounds like parenting is going to be this wonderful world of child rearing. They painted the beautiful picture cotton candy happiness…:)

There was so much stuff that nobody ever told us about having kids. It’s funny.. I dunno if its on purpose but I don’t really remember people telling us…”hey you know what yah its great but it’s gonna be some of the hardest times as well.”

Well here I am 6 years later and 3 kids into it and there are times I still feel like I have NO IDEA what I am doing raising children. 95% of the time being the parent is awesome. I love my children beyond words can describe and watching them grow into each stage of life is crazy to see how their minds develop and how the figure stuff out is pretty great. However those 5% of times when things aren’t peaches and cream literally some days just push me to my limit. Now that I am a father of a 6 year old girl I am starting to see just how easy it is to become your kids “friend” and not their parent. Thats when you end up on MTV’s My Super Sweet 16 with these kids bossing their parents around and they bend to their every demand.

Since Madi has started school this year we knew that we would probably start dealing with some behavior issues creeping up. I am learning school is different for girls than it is boys. Girls can just be mean…from a very early start which is just sad. We have tried to teach and instill good values in Madison while she is home. But when she goes to school it is completely up to her to act on those, and make friends with the right kids. But when we see things that there are unacceptable behaviors and attitudes creeping in our family they need to be corrected, and thats the problem I have. I hate being the bad guy. I hate taking away things from Madison. I hate it. But I am now learning that it needs to be done. That disciplining Madison is a form of love. Because I love her so much I don’t want her to go down the wrong path. However that doesn’t make it any easier.. The silent treatments we get… the lashing out at us when we discipline her. It makes me see how parents cave, and give in and be like.. “oh honey Daddy is sorry what can I do to make it up to you”

The past couple weeks I have really been thinking about being a parent. Looking at my attitude…the way I parent my children and how I want to be remembered. I know it is continually a process being a parent. Just as you get a handle on certain behavior patterns then the kids go through another phase and its like starting all over again. But I know that if both Karen and I keep our foundation strong in Christ, and we raise our kids with that foundation that we are doing the best that we can. We have the perfect example in God how to be a parent….because He is our parent. And I know that seems like such a cliche answer..but its true. If we keep ourselves in the word we can see how much He loves us and cares for us, even in the midst of the discipline.

So for now it’s just a continued work in progress. But sometimes I would love to go back to these people 7 years ago and be like.. ” you could’a given me a better heads up about this whole parenting stuff…”

What about you… if you have kids do you feel like you have a a good handle on this parenting role?

19 Responses to “Parenting 101…”

  1. bryan
    March 23, 2011 at 7:02 am #

    Great Post.

    At times I feel I have a good handle, and at time I feel I have no handle and I feel like I am flying by the seat of my pants, and that is not a good feeling.

    I absolutely agree with you, it is hard to be the bad guy, but it has to be done. Both of my girls have told me they hate me, and then come full circle within minutes and say they did not mean that and hug me and say they love me, that they were just angry at the moment. I always tell them, this won’t be the last time that they will be that angry with me, and we make those very decisions they despise, because we love them.

    Parenting is hard and it’s funny how you stated, I don’t remember anyone saying, “hey, bro are you ready for the most incredible roller coaster of life?”. Like you said there are some awesome and amazing moments while rearing children, and then there are some down right scary moments while rearing children.

    What seems to amaze me is the influences that creep in from their peers…

    I constantly have to say “I don’t care what your friends parents allow them do. I WON’T allow you do that.” That definitely makes it difficult at times.

    Ultimately, I love your statement “We have the perfect example in God how to be a parent….because He is our parent. ” As cliche as it sounds, it is the truth.

    Brenda and I are right beside you as you look to The Word for answers and guidance. I pray a lot for us, you and Karen, and other friends of ours that are parents, for grace while parenting, that our kids will make decisions based on what we have instilled in them, that they turn to God and His Word when faced with difficult worldly temptations especially once they are given more freedom to make choices for themselves. I struggle with stepping a side and pray I have done the right things leading to them making there own decisions. A point comes when you say “oh-man, did I fully equip them for this world????”

    To be honest, this world we are raising our kids in, scares the crap out of me at times. Not that you are scared like I am, but it’s nice to know I am not alone in the struggles of parenting.

    In prayer for parents everywhere, cause it isn’t easy!

    Thanks for the post Adam.

  2. Adam
    March 23, 2011 at 7:32 am #

    Thanks Bryan. I agree kids today are by far so different from even when i was growing up. The things they are exposed to and now have to deal is crazy. But i think of we keep our foundation of parenting based in our faith then then we are able to have a “guide” of what’s acceptable and not.

    I know there are others out there like us. But sometimes it feels good to just hear that there are other dads (and moms) that deal with the same thing.

  3. Jon
    March 23, 2011 at 7:44 am #

    Dude…I can tell that you’re a great Dad! Man, I give A LOT of credit to my parents. All my siblings and I have had our moments, and still do. We are not a easy bunch :), and my youngest sister is turning 16 soon….

    Can I just say that people should just make a twitter account, and look at their timeline. You definitely don’t get a one-sided view of parenting…most definitely not. All I know is that I’m not in any rush…

  4. Francine H
    March 23, 2011 at 8:35 am #

    I think it is all learn as you go. Even in the same family, a parent has to treat each child differently based on their temperament and attitude. I have a 16yo daughter and a 12yo son and they are as different as you can get.

    You can either be mean for a short time while Maddi comes to terms that you are the boss, or you have her run over you for the rest of your life. At least that’s what it feels like!

    Plus, I think, the discipline is what teaches children to respect adults. Most children I see nowadays do not, and it is very sad.

    Good luck!

  5. Adam
    March 23, 2011 at 9:01 am #

    What did I just scare you from wanting kids ever. πŸ™‚

  6. Adam
    March 23, 2011 at 9:04 am #

    Thanks Francine! You are right each kid in a family can be polar opposites an sometimes in the moment it’s hard to remember that until it’s to late. Which is usually what happens to me. πŸ™‚ it’s just a keep learning process.

  7. Jani
    March 23, 2011 at 12:11 pm #

    Don’t be too hard on yourself! We have all been there and will be there many more times. I always find comfort (crazy as it sounds) talking to my other friends who have boys and find they “lose it” just like I do. I also find that I have sort of found a woman at my work who has three grown sons and lives in the same neighborhood I do. She and her husband have very similar values and beliefs that my husband and I have. I love to bounce things off of her and get her take on things. It helps sooo much.

    One thing I have vowed to myself is this. When you believe in something, stick to it! No matter what anyone else thinks. Don’t bow to the “times change and we have to change with them..” for every situation. Also, when I hear a parent tell me that they “gave up on that fight.” when it comes to something they originally weren’t allowing for their child, it makes me cringe. I don’t ever want to “give up” on what I believe is right just because it becomes difficult to enforce. I may “evolve” in to allowing something after much thought and consideration.

    I am a lurker to your blog and it seems to me you do a great job of parenting! Enjoy your beautiful children!

  8. sarah
    March 23, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

    I’m not a parent but after I was a teacher for kids 5 & under for a while I’m going to wait some time before I come a parent. Just from watching parents I can see it’s not easy and I’m NOT ready for it. Just the stuff that came out of their mouths would freak me out.

  9. Adam
    March 23, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

    Thanks Jani! Yah we are pretty laid back kinda parents. So we try to take things as they come but there are the times when you feel like things are spinning out of control

  10. Adam
    March 23, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    I can only imagine some of the stuff that you saw as a teacher to 5 yr olds. I’m sure it would make me put the breaks on wanting to have kids too! πŸ™‚

  11. Jon
    March 23, 2011 at 3:56 pm #

    Yes. But you’re not the only one ;). Haha jk kinda…I just know that I’m not ready for that right now.

  12. dustin
    March 23, 2011 at 6:36 pm #

    Parenting is so different than what I expected it to be 4 years ago. My oldest is only 3 yo so still have a little bit of time before school-age…. but, all the same… there are great, great times… and other times can be frustrating. Even in the few years as a dad, I’ve had my share of raising my voice, getting unnecessarily frustrated, etc. But, in the end, seeing the fruit of it all makes everything worth it.

  13. Brook Sarver
    March 24, 2011 at 3:31 am #

    Wait, so I’m not supposed to know everything before my baby arrives in August? Whew! Sara and I have experienced a lot in life for 27 year olds, but this first-time baby/parenting stuff is at times a bit scary!

  14. Adam
    March 24, 2011 at 7:00 am #

    I know what you mean Brook! I’ll never forget the first night we came home with Madi and we laid her in her crib for the first time. Then Karen and i looked at each other were like. “now what”. But it’s just a learn as you go type thing. I’m sure you guys will do great!

  15. Adam
    March 24, 2011 at 7:05 am #

    When there are times of frustration sometimes I feel like I can see myself letting things get out of control. And then it’s like “what is going on” and that is the worst part of it all

    But like you said. The good outweighs the bad. But sometimes the bad can get really bad.

  16. Alex Humphrey
    March 25, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

    I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a father.

    I suppose I can imagine it…

    I’m getting married in a few weeks and this is something I have been thinking about. How long until we have kids? Should we adopt or go the “natural” route. and more than that, will I make a good father?

    A lot of these questions creep up in my mind and then I am blessed with a blog like this which reminds me that I don’t have to figure it all out, I just need to trust God and work every day to love well and do the right things.

    Being a husband and a father will probably be the most difficult thing I ever do. Seeing men like you reminds me that it’s worth it. On balance the difficulties won’t even compare to the joys.

  17. Nathan
    March 26, 2011 at 12:41 am #

    In short, no. πŸ™‚

    You & Karen are a good bit further down the road than we are with Landon, but one thing that’s been enormous for us is just teamwork and reminding each other about being consistent in our message and discipline. Consistency is key and that’s seems to also be the hardest struggle, especially when you’re both worn out. I have no clue how single parents hold it all together – I’d be a complete wreck without Carrie.

  18. Adam
    March 27, 2011 at 7:28 am #

    Thanks for stoppy by Alex! You are right.. completely right. Congratulations on getting married in a couple weeks. That in itself is such an amazing time!!

  19. Adam
    March 27, 2011 at 7:30 am #

    yes.. consistency is definitely key in any parenting situation, and with all over kids has been vital…and we definitely felt it when the consistency had been dropped and thats never a good feeling.

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