Stay the Course

Hopefully my consistency in parenting is better than my approach to posting on this blog. It’s not that there isn’t a lot to write about; every day with Toby is an adventure. He has boundless energy, and just the things he says on a daily basis could fill volumes. Finding the time and energy to document his words and activities is another matter.

While some things in life can survive a “take it as it comes” attitude, parenting is not one of them (at least as I see it). Children are the first to point out disconnects between what we say and what we do; even quicker to point out that we let them do “X” last time… why not now? I believe we shape our children one interaction at a time, which means we need to be mindful of what we say, how we act, and what we model.

I know many will disagree with that concept. Believe me, I’m not a “helicopter parent”, constantly hovering over Tobey to supervise his every move. But I do like to be intentional. I know that I want him to adopt certain values and beliefs, certain ways of interacting with others that recognize their worth and honor them…. and I’ve seen through life that those things don’t just happen.

The problem is, I still struggle with consistency in important areas of my own life. I’d really like to be one way, but I find myself behaving in ways that contradict that desire. It reminds me of the saying that we have two animals inside of us… one that wants to do good and one that wants to do evil. Which one wins? The one we feed. Perhaps for some people, consistency comes more easily. I was not raised to be a disciplined person, and have struggled to overcome that my entire life. I see threads of that struggle in my first four children. I don’t want Toby to fight that same battle. Perhaps learning consistent habits earlier in life will help him later. But I’m guessing that those life skills are as much “caught” as “taught”. Which means my battle is long from over. If not for my sake, then at least for his.

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