Every mother teaches her children, whether you have just a few minutes a day or 24/7 to be teaching, you CAN and DO teach your Children!

This is just a little notebook tucked away on the web for all the little things I'm learning as I teach my children, but mostly learn from them, and especially the things I wish I could have known 6 children ago! Becoming a Mother is such a beautiful and strenuous process that unfolds line upon line.

Enjoy and please feel free to contribute thoughts, links, and ideas you have or find!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Understanding Emotions

There was a wonderful write up in the Church News about "Understanding emotions in early childhood helps overall health."  (You can listen to the whole lecture here or here.)  It really brought home for me and put into words some of the feelings and thoughts that I have been pondering lately.  That of the difference between the worlds multiple pop-parenting views and ideas, and that of a Christ like Charity, true gospel centered parenting.  I feel like my mind has been so bombarded with all of the social stigmas of what a child should and should not say or do, the schedule a child should keep, and the best methods of how to get a child to do what you want him/her to do, that I have allowed some bad habits into our parenting lives.  And lately it has been really pressing upon my mind, wondering what the true approaches should be, and how to still the frustration that I feel when one of my boys doesn't always do what I want him to do when I want him to do it or acts out in ways that I think are unacceptable.  I have been feeling lately that a lot of the little things that happen daily don't really matter in the eternal sense of things, you know; a potty accident, not being as quick getting ready for the day, getting out of bed at night for this-that-or the other.  It isn't what they do or don't do that matters, it is what I do or don't do in response that matters!  It really hit home when I heard my oldest child reprimanding one of the younger ones and thought "where did he learn to that?" and realized that unfortunately he has learned it from me.  It wasn't awful but it wasn't charitable loving or kind.  And I realized that with all I'm 'trying' to 'teach' them by different 'methods' isn't really teaching them, it was my attitude, tone of voice, and facial expressions that they were really learning, my charity and love or lack there of.  And I must say that when feeling frustrated that they 'still hadn't learned not to _______'  (hit their brother, call names, fight, take toys away, etc... all ways that children express their feelings); that my tone of voice and attitude was generally frustrated or aggravated or exasperated, not so charitable...  and I have been pondering on and working on seeing things from a different light.  Trying not to compare my children to what I think everyone else might think of them (because really I doubt anyone really takes the time to analyze them like that anyway... I know I don't do that to anyone else's children, my mind is usually to full of taking care of my children).   Instead I am going to work on seeing them as the Savior does, as Heavenly Father wants me to see them, and to love them and Show that Love in my face, tone of voice, actions, and words.  That they learn by my example to be kind and loving and to teach each other, instead of reprimanding or commanding, to help us all along the path of charity, love, and back into our Father's loving arms.

Some other wonderful thoughts and resources that enhance the idea of charitable Parenting:

Chapter 3: Teaching Infants and Toddlers: from Birth to Approximately Three Years,"  A Parent's Guide, (1985)
"While your children are very young, you can teach them the value of loving and being loved. "
"... if you wish your children to be taught in the principles of the gospel, if you wish them to love the truth and understand it, if you wish them to be obedient to and united with you, love them! and prove to them that you do love them by your every word or act to them. For your own sake, for the love that should exist between you and your [children]—however wayward they might be … when you speak or talk to them, do it not in anger, do it not harshly, in a condemning spirit. Speak to them kindly; get them down and weep with them if necessary and get them to shed tears with you if possible. Soften their hearts; get them to feel tenderly toward you. Use no lash and no violence, but … approach them with reason, with persuasion and love unfeigned. … Get them to feel as you feel, have interest in the things in which you take interest, to love the gospel as you love it, to love one another as you love them; to love their parents as the parents love the children. You can’t do it any other way” 
“our children are the most precious gift that our Father bestows upon us. If we can guide their feet in the pathway of salvation, there will be joy eternal for us and for them”
 "Be loving when you correct your children. Do not withhold affection from them as a way to chastise them, for they may not learn to give affection to others."

Chapter 4: Teaching Children: from Four to Eleven Years," A Parent’s Guide, (1985)
"The home is the best place in the world to teach the child self-restraint, to give him happiness in self-control, and respect for the rights of others."
“I feel that the first contribution of the home to the happiness of the child is to impress him with the fact that there are bounds beyond which he cannot go with safety; second, to teach him to be considerate of the rights of others; third, to have him feel that home is a place where confidences and consolations are exchanged; and fourth, to have him cherish the thought that home is a haven of seclusion and rest from the worries and perplexities of life” ~ Pres. David O. McKay

Now, just because I have written this, am I doing it just perfectly?  No, I am human, I make mistakes.  But I am working on Becoming better and striving to do these things!  That is the great thing about this life, we get to consistently work to Become more than we are, more like Him.  And writing it all out, helps, because now on 'one of those days' I can come back and read and re-experience the feelings and answers that I have found, to help me continue working to Become the best mother that I can be.

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Every child and every adult is individual and different! When you are doing your best and seeking inspiration as to what is best for your child(ren) you will be given the guidance that you and they need. It likely will be quite different than what I or someone else is doing, but you need to do what is right and best for your child. I hope that some of my experiences can help someone on their quest to learn how to become all that they can become, I am glad that I have recorded them!

Please join in and share thoughts, tips, and things that will help uplift and enrich mothers, children, and families!