So I'm going to let you in on a little secret.....my days aren't spent with birds chirping at my window, fresh bread baking in the oven, and completely obedient children happily toiling away at their desks. I know you're shocked but I thought it was time to be honest.
Most days I feel like I'm running around "putting out fires." I deal with whatever is happening in the moment and just try to plow through our to-do list for the day. It seems like there is some type of episode every day. Either one child is emotional or the other child didn't get enough sleep. Sometimes I didn't get enough coffee or I feel overwhelmed by the amount of tasks before me. Occasionally Hubby is home and throws off our jive. So whatever the problem is I just try to get us through it and make it until bedtime. The problem with "putting out fires" is that they never seem to end. I'm always thinking the next season or milestone will be calmer but it isn't.
Enter Intentional Parenting by Sissy Goff, David Thomas, and Melissa Trevathan. The tag line for the book is "Autopilot is for planes." Ha. Chapter 1 addresses reactive parenting vs. proactive parenting. Sound familiar? Flames. Now to be fair to Hubby and I, we do assert the values emphasized in the book. We are proactive in showing our kids that faith, family time, and honesty are important to us. However we could use some work on being proactive in the areas of encouragement and consistency. Some of the other chapters are also ones that we both need to study or one of us could use a refresher course on.
In particular I fail at this:
"We can do what our children long for us to do: grow up in a way that makes being a grown-up look like a glorious adventure." (pg 58)
I stink at making things look like an adventure. I'm too busy being serious and getting through my to-do list. I am reactive rather than proactive most of the time. I'm so glad to have Intentional Parenting for a resource. I love that each chapter is broken down to stages: toddler, children, and teens. While we are past the toddler stage we are in the midst of the child years heading quickly towards the teen years (*GASP*). So this is one of those books that will be read, read again, tucked on the bookshelf and pulled out frequently.
I appreciate the laid back approach of the three authors. They are all counselors and come with a really gentle attitude and style. There are no harsh words and criticisms in this book. Instead you will find comfort, courage, and Bible verses to lead you in this parental journey.
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