It’s time once again for Heather from Family Volley to share with us some Parenting Tips as part of her “Parenting Tips Series with Heather Johnson” here on The Idea Room. Here’s Heather in her own words…
Last night I couldn’t sleep. This is strange, given that I am up every two and a half hours nursing our 4 month old. At this point of new-born-ness I am so tired I can barely remember what day of the week it is.
It didn’t take long for my husband to sense my restlessness and wake up.
“What’s wrong?” he asked.
“I can’t stop thinking about the kids.” I said.
The two of us spent the next two hours talking about each of our children. Not as a collective group, but as individuals. They are growing. We are entering uncharted territory. I worry.
We started with our new baby. At just a few months old her needs are pretty straight forward and her personality is “pending.” Then we worked our way up to our oldest. With each child we continued to realize that even though they come from the same gene pool, they are very different. What worked with our son when he was 7, doesn’t work with our almost 7 year old daughter. Each child is unique.
They have their own struggles and temptations.
They have their own strengths and weaknesses.
They have their own understandings and confusions.
They have their own hopes and dreams.
They need to be loved the same but different.
As parents, for us to be successful, we continue to realize how individual our actions need to be. Lumping our kids together means we are missing out on what they need and how they need it.
Being a parent is tricky. Developing an ability to see what our family needs as a whole, while seeing each individual family member as an individual takes work, and faith, and patience. It takes discernment and insight.
It takes a lot of those late night, long conversations where you think and think and pour your heart out about your kids.
You see yourself in each of them. Good and bad. You want to spare them pain, but you want them to have experiences.
More than anything, you want them to be happy, to know who they are, what they believe in, and that you love them more than words can ever, ever begin to describe.
You want them to know that you love their differences as much as their similarities.
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