Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Kinder, Gentler Mom?

While I'm still frantic or cranky much of the time, some days I believe I'm mellowing as a parent. I reflect more readily on what treasures my children are. I'm gentler. I try harder to slow down for teaching or watching or playing.

My children may not have noticed this incremental progress. ;-) I admit the change is subtle...

Lately I've been asking myself what has brought this change about. So far I've come up with several theories:
  1. I'm growing up, becoming mature. (Wouldn't that be nice?)
  2. I no longer have babies or toddlers (Rebecca is 5!) exhausting my physical stamina, which increases my ability to parent well.
  3. With three teens (19, 17, almost 15) I truly understand (emotionally and spiritually, rather than just intellectually) how fleeting this time is with my children. This has increased my appreciation of them and caused me to make a greater effort at patience/gentleness.
  4. I'm getting old and am too tired to muster the energy to train and discipline with fervor, which I'm mistaking for gentleness. (Let's hope this isn't true!)
Right now I'm leaning towards #3 with an added hint of wistfullness about #2. Babies can be exhausting, sure, but each one multiplies the love in a family, too.

Have you mellowed or transformed your parenting style over the years? How? Why?

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