Thursday, July 1, 2010

I finished another book - 5 Needs Your Kids Must Have Met at Home by Ron Hutchcraft. I liked this book and I was able to be given some positive direction for improving my parenting. I already knew a lot of the information in the book, but the author has a way of really bringing idea's to life through allegories and parables. He discusses different parenting styles and the effects they have upon our children, bringing awareness to my personal style. I think we can do things without even sometimes realizing it. This book as enabled me to really look at and study my approach to parenting. I notice when I do certain things now, and why, and what the end result will most likely be - not all negative, much positive as well.
The major message I found was to look past your child's deeds to their needs and I have been able to do this on a much more regular basis lately.
One of my favorite visuals is when he compares parents to either a thermometer or a thermostat. "A thermometer reflects the temperature, and a thermostat sets the temperature. An effective parent is a thermostat. You are proactive, knowing your mission and staying steadily on that course. Thermostat moms and dads set the climate with each child at a consistent temperature."
I daily ask myself the question, "Which one am I?"
As I have mentioned before in other posts, I love the thought that we as parents are farmers, in this book I love what the author, Ron, has to say concerning this idea, "Space. That's what kids require in order to grow. Emotional space and room to choose. Allow some space. Better parents do not instantly get better sons and daughters. And the time lag between changes in parent and response from a child can cause mom or dad to despair that "it isn't working." Unless that parent understands the importance of space. Parenting is farming. There's a period of time when it looks as if nothing is happening. If the farmer went out and dug around because "it isn't working," there might never be a crop. In his impatience, he could kill the very crop he is trying to grow. If you are a parent you are a farmer. When you present the truth to a child on any issue, you are sowing seed in the decision-making part of that child. When you praise, hug, support, discipline, or train a son or daughter, you are sowing emotional seed to meet the needs they must have met at home. But, as every farmer can testify, there is a time lag between sowing and reaping. Truth + Space + Prayer & Unconditional Love = A Changed Life"
And if you are like me and worry about past mistakes, he provides hope by saying this, "What about the days and years that are already history? We can't have those back, and it is a waste of time to focus on what we cannot change. But the future is yet to be written. It is time to focus on making the most of the days we have left in their lives."
I would recommend this book to every parent. It has some really wonderful thoughts and ideas that I think can help improve anyones parenting, even if only to reinforce principles already established in the home, but more so I believe that we can always do better and learn more than we do now and know now.
He ends the book with this quote, which I added to my chalk board for the summer says this:
It is my greatest prayer
That on that Resurrection Day
I may stand before my Savior and say,
"Here am I ... and the children You gave me."

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