Before Miles entered the “terrible twos” I went a little cray-cray-turbo-mom and started putting post-it notes all around my house with parenting reminders. Not reminders like “feed that kid – he’s yours,” more like pre-determined, I’ve read this in a book somewhere, this is how I want to do it, reminders. Nuggets of wisdom, if you will.
My fridge looked like this:
In case you can’t read them, the post-it’s read:
“Be gentle with Miles’ spirit- never belittle or embarrass him in front of friends. Discipline should be administered away from the gloating eyes of curious onlookers.”
“Equally seek out the goodness and waywardness of Miles’ heart.”
“Don’t use heightened emotion to get desired behavior.” (And above that scribbled in pen, probably in a moment of desperation, it says, “Toddlerhood is parenting bootcamp!”)
“Above all else, guard your heart for it is the well spring of life. Proverbs 4:23”
“Behavior is not the basic issue. The basic issue is always what is going on in the heart.”
Other really great ones I had on mirrors, cabinets, etc, were:
“Use action to get action.”
“Never discipline out of anger. Take a breather before you discipline if you need it. Then, discipline out of love.”
Well, it’s been a while & those notes have all fallen down.
Last night, I was recounting an episode from earlier in the day where Miles had disobeyed me and I yelled. Loud. Frustrated. Mean.
Guilt is a murderous thing to a parent.
So, today I searched for my notes. I wanted to write this post mostly as a reminder for me – one that won’t fall off the fridge. This season of life is not a surprise – I’ve known since the day he was born that he’d be 2, with all it’s whining & wanting & needing to be shown the way a million times before we even hit lunch.
It’s not a surprise that his default is disobedience and willfulness and “I do it my way.” It’s not a surprise that he forgets what I’ve said 10 seconds after I’ve said it. And it’s not a surprise that five minutes after he’s kissed and made-up with his cousins, he’s back at biting/hitting/fighting/toy stealing. He’s two. These are the days of boot camp parenting, not perfect kid-being.
Man, this job is hard. But I’m up for the task.
Lord, help me.