Welcome to the seventh stop on the Raise the Child You’ve Got book tour courtesy of From Left to Write! If you’re not familiar with my blog, I’m Natasha (aka Mrs. Houseful) from Houseful of Nicholes, and I will be sharing my thoughts from an excerpt of the book, which I received in exchange for sharing my thoughts, which , awesomely, are all mine.
Usually, I shy away from books that help you raise children. I’m not sure why, but most of them irritate me. Mostly because they paint children in this very black/white way and indicate that there is a way to apply the same type of child rearing to each and every child that you have. I’m stubborn. I’ve been told this by many people.
So it should come as no surprise that SO many of the excerpts from this book kind of got under my skin. Not because the author, Nancy Rose was a know it all, but because she was speaking to something that I kind of didn’t want to hear.
I’ve been brought up in an old-fashioned sort of way. My mom reads this blog, so I’m going to try to say this in a way that makes her proud, but also explains so much of why I raise my children the way that I do. Our family lifestyle was pretty strict. We had a lot of fun, and my parents expected good grades and for you to behave in public in such a way that didn’t embarrass you or your family. When I was a kid, I didn’t understand why people would blame my parents for any way that I acted in public, but now that I am a parent of four, I understand. That isn’t to say that my way of raising my children doesn’t differ some from how I was brought up. It hasn’t strayed far, but I do apply some things that I remember from my youth to my children now.
In her excerpt from Chapter 7: Understanding Your CoreSelf and Your Behavior (p.129) Nancy states,
If we learn to accept even the parts of ourselves we deem negative, we’ll better accept others who exhibit these characteristics. What bothers us most is actually within us. When parents are triggered by a child who reminds them of something they don’t wish to acknowledge in themselves, it’s natural to try to control the child. There’s a reason that stuff got tucked away in the first place! It felt horrible. Of course, the reason has nothing to do with the child and perhaps nothing to do with today. But, if we don’t deal with our tucked away pain, we unwittingly set up the damaging expectation, “Don’t be who you are.” We try to force our kids to play along with us. It’s as if we’re saying, “I need you to do this for me.” What the child hears is, “Don’t be who you are,” “My needs are more important than yours,” and “I don’t have faith in who you are.”
First of all, UGH! I hate when people I don’t know can get all into my thoughts and touch on something that I feel that I have a lot of control over.
Second of all, I’m talking to my therapist about it.
But MOST of all, I’m praying a lot.
I have a thirteen year old son. He’s about to enter into high school, and I find myself always fighting MYSELF on things that I want him to do, and things that I fight him not to do.
It’s hard to raise an emotionally free son these days without someone, somewhere commenting that he isn’t manly enough, and then trying to overcompensate as a parent. I want the cellist to be an extremely educated young adult who can hold his own when I’m not around, but I also want him to be able to be a KID for as long as his age permits. We both have the unique birth order of being the oldest of four in our family. He has eight years in between his next sibling, while I had three. I find myself continuing to talk him out of being so brusque with his siblings because of the guilt that I have from being that way with my sister and she no longer being here.
I’ve connected her death, and our sibling arguments together in some way and go overboard when correcting the issues that the cellist may have with the ladybug, or the twizzlers.
The cellist also has an intelligence level out of this world, and he’s not using it to the best of his ability. That’s how I feel. That’s because that’s something that I STILL feel that I didn’t do as well as I could while I was in high school. I was tired. I wanted to fit in, and it’s a daily exercise in affirmations to let him know that he is okay JUST THE WAY HE IS. I didn’t listen to my parents, and I don’t want my son to make that same mistake.
Learning to accept the cellist for who he is, instead of who I want him to be, is crucial in making sure that he grows into an adult that is secure with himself. CRUCIAL. There are still things that he’s going to have to do, no holds barred. Homework, chores, etc. However, things that his dad and I may want him to do that he may give a bit of pushback on, we can allow him to explain. By doing so, it’s not giving him more leeway to be the adult, but letting him know that we do value his opinion, and that if there is a better solution, then by all means, we’ll entertain it. Essentially, treating him the way that all human beings want to be treated.
All in all, this book has made me think very hard about the way that I speak to my children and how I choose to say things to them. I can still discipline (thank goodness, because SOME books to help with raising children just leave me with a bad taste) but I have to find the discipline that fits the personality of my child. Some children react to a look – that’s Lil’ Miss Twizzler. Others react to things being taken from them, and others yet react well to other things.
This kind of reminds me of finding the love language that my husband and I respond to, except, I’m doing it with my children, and getting results that are pleasing and beneficial to both of us.
Here’s a link to Nancy Rose on the Today Show
So, what do you think? How are you raising your child? Do you find yourself frustrated because you feel as if you’re constantly fussing? Will you be reading Raise the Child You’ve Got? I suggest this book wholeheartedly, and ensure you that you may feel a little bit uncomfortable, OR you may have an incredibly HUGE Aha! moment. Either way, you’re sure to learn something that will speak to each and every child that you have.