Tip{py} Tuesday: Learning Has Occurred; Fear the Mom Guilt


Here’s a great parenting tip for you: try not to feel to guilty when your children test the rules you set for them and find out the hard way why there were rules in the first place. Really don’t beat yourself up over their learning experience. Ultimately, that was the result. It was a learning experience for your child and for you to see how your child would react when breaking the rules and receiving a negative consequence.  Hubs and I like to phrase it as “learning has occurred”.

Learning occurred on both parts this past weekend; with me and the spawn. There were tears shed, lots. There were stern words said, lots. And there were feelings of guilt, lots. Maybe I should start at the beginning of the events:

Every family has its own set of rules. Don’t touch hot stoves; don’t jump in the shower; fruit before snacks and so on. In our family we also have- don’t stick your arms out the car windows and tell us if you are going with mom/dad in a store.

Both older spawn broke those rules this weekend. As a mom I felt at first I should be sympatric. Diva was scared she got lost and Bug was sad because he got his finger stuck in the window as Hubs rolled it up. However, within a few seconds reality took over me and I smiled. I smiled big. I almost wanted to laugh. But I contained myself and pushed that feeling back down to the pit of my stomach. I asked Bug if it hurt when his finger got stuck. He said yes. I then asked him why it hurt and he said “because I didn’t listen to the rule”. I then asked Diva what happened to her that day. She said she got lost. I asked her how that felt and she replied sad and scared and that she never wanted to leave me again (maybe that backfired….)

Some people might think I was being rude, cold hearted, not loving enough or maybe I even suffer from a little bit of ASD myself. Call it what you want to, but I call it a victory for parents! Because? Learning has occurred.

So it’s tippy Tuesday; so where is my tip? Here it is: don’t feel mom guilt when your children learn their lesson. Diva was “lost” for a split second and Bug had a scare factor of about a 8. Both children are fine, no one broke a bone and no one was ever in immediate danger. For me, it’s the mom guilt I feel that makes me soft; feeling sorry for our children after they are hurt, babying them too much when they get a boo boo. There is a line we must not cross as parents in order for our children to learn the right way how to follow rules and understand their own limits. Otherwise, learning will never occur.


How Do You Explain Thankfulness to Your Kids?

I have created a few fall DIY projects for around our home. The one I am most excited about is our “Thanksgiving Tree”. Its a take on the 30 days of thankfulness that spam Facebook every year. I strive really hard to make sure my children know the sacrifice their father makes and people who came before their dad and people who will come after their dad; including maybe them. But then we get into a slight issue that always makes explaining the definition of the words very hard. I was taught long ago, not to include the word you are defining in the definition. After I had children the questions of “w’ started to appear. Some are easy, and so are not. However, the problem I soon discovered was that with my children’s unique challenges explaining something to them they can not touch or see is harder than explaining the word. So how do you explain thankfulness to children? How do you explain it to children who do not understand anything than a tangible concept? For my “Thanksgiving Tree” idea to work, I first have to  explain what thankfulness is. And here we are on day 11 and I still can not come up with a formidable solution.

I looked around Google and Pinterest for some ideas for activities or speeches to give and nothing really popped out at me. However, as I was looking I realized a few things that did seem to help me.

1) Children are children. They are egotistical and self-centered. Eventually, by the grace of God, they won’t be. But until they learn by life lessons what thankful means, they will all be greedy little creatures.

I typically get upset and irritated by their “I want” attitudes. They seem to think owning some ridiculous toy on TV will fill their happy bubble for life, or until the batteries run out. But after accepting the realization that they are egotistical and self-centered, I realized their normal for now. Until they are able to comprehend a life outside of theirs is just as worthy as theirs, I must pat their egos and lead them down a path to one day have that self realization.

One way I can do that is being positive. I used to be a Eeyore, as my mom called me. Much of my life with gloomy and grey. Then one day I had my own self-realization (mine was at age 30, I hope my children’s is before that!). Every day was the way I made it; the way I saw it. I realized always yelling at my kids on my gloomy days was turning them into me. I saw their sad faces and their cracked hearts from my words and realized words hurt (another lesson that took me too long to learn). One day I stopped pointing out all the negative- “stop hitting your sister”, “be quite”, “your room looks horrible”. And I started pointing out the positive- “You are being so nice to your sister”, “great job using your inside voice”, “I’m so proud of you for cleaning your room”. Eventually, I started seeing the result. My children are complimenting each other, giving hi-5’s when they have good reports for school and cheering each other on when trying something new for dinner. Trust me, I am not perfect, and I still have those gloomy days. But the realization that they do actually listen and learn from you is astounding.

So I may not be able to teach them what thankfulness is today; but maybe in a few years, without some intellectual speech, they will discover the definition on their own. There is always the chance they never will. I accept that. It will be a hard lesson for me to learn; but I will love my children regardless of their understanding of thankfulness. I know that every day I am thankful for my children and their presence on this earth. Even if that includes gloomy days.

Found the following image circulating around Facebook today.