Parenting is like The A -Team. We are the Special Forces that come together for the good of raising children, but are often mistaken as war criminals. Sometimes we are perceived as the enemy by our children, and misunderstood by the very people we are trying to help (our children). I am pretty sure that Stephen would be Mr. T if we were going to pick parts.
Stephen and I came up with a great strategy for solving a parenting moment recently. Our girls are rather slow at getting their chores done. Julia, our adorable fifteen year old, is responsible for laundry. She doesn’t necessarily have to do all the laundry, but she is responsible to “get er done”. Most often, she delegates and manages the process by involving the entire family (which we are all happy to help). Over the last few months, she has slowed down on laundry production. Sometimes, the laundry process can take up to three days, and this was getting to Stephen. After many talks, I came up with this idea. Our girls can’t text with their phones during chores. This means once the laundry process has started, Julia cannot text until it is over. She is allowed to make phone calls, but she cannot text.
This last weekend, we had a record-breaking laundry outcome and all the clothes were clean, folded and delivered to our rooms in less than four hours. Way to go Julia! A- Team was successful with the mission!
Many times Stephen and I get stuck on a parenting issue. Sometimes the girls and I will be GOIN’ AT IT IN A HUGE WAY, and Stephen will come in as the innocent bystander, with great wisdom, and help us work through the issues. But there are times, just like I imagine Mr. T. might react, when Stephen will call me saying he is going crazy with the girl drama, and I will offer a solution. Occasionally, neither of us can come up with a solution, so we ship the kids off to one of their Grandma’s and they will save the day.
Stephen just flew off to Columbia yesterday. After he left, I had a “situation” come up with my kids. A mission needed to be accomplished but Mr. T was out of town. My emotions flared and I went to a bad place. Instantly, I wanted to call my husband and dump all my stuff on him, but then something inside me said that would not be fair. I realized at that moment, I needed to let Mr. T. have a break and I would need to figure it out. I was able to pull together a discussion (granted it had more emotion without Stephen around), and in the end there were apologies, solution and peace. Mission Accomplished!
I am grateful that my kids have a fabulous dad. I am grateful that Stephen and I can work together and respect each other in our parenting efforts. I realize not everyone has this luxury and there are a lot of parents having to solo it. Today, I empathized with you!
I have learned through the years to be grateful for my A -Team. My “parenting” A- Team obviously includes Stephen, but it also includes two grandmas, aunts and uncles, teachers, youth pastors, and a lot of friends. I need their wisdom, their gifts and their hands-on-skills. Together, we might not always make these young natives happy, but we are raising great kids. I need you people! I realize I have to step up to the plate and make things happen by myself once in awhile, but I believe parenting was meant to be a team sport. It’s a lot better this way.
Specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy
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