Friday, October 5, 2012

31 Days of Repetitive Parenting: Day 5 "Just give me a minute!"

I once saw a cute little sign that read, "Motherhood is like being pecked to death by chickens!"

Pretty much sums up the sentiment behind this latest parenting rant of mine!

Sometimes I manage to convey my need for patient children with a smile and calm demeanor. Most often, however, they descend upon me all at once, usually while cooking dinner, and well, all bets are off at arsenic hour! defines "arsenic hour" as the time of day when both children and parents have come home but dinner has not yet been served, seen as being difficult due to everyone being tired and hungry.  No, duh?!  I found it quite comical that it made it into the dictionary, but I digress.

Back to the pecking chickens.
Cute little chickie!
When we were first building our little hen house, we appreciated a particular parenting program which reminded us that, "A baby is a welcome member of the family and not the center of it."  This appealed to us, because we had seen the results of permissive parenting and wanted no part of it.  (You know the type: kids running wild whose folks have absolutely no control, who just smile proudly while junior wreaks havoc all over your freshly cleaned home.)

We desired, instead, to raise our children within a family structure that had, well, structure.  Rules and expectation that help make our family unit work together to provide a loving environment for each member to thrive in their God-given role of parent or child.

Translation: the kids can wait.  By asking my kids to "just give me a minute," I hope that they will learn patience, delayed gratification, and manners. (They are much more likely to get my undivided attention, prefacing their statement with an "Excuse me, Mom.")

Teaching such lessons, however, requires a lot of patience on my part.  This is where the repetitive parenting enters.  I cannot count how many times I use this particular phrase on a daily basis, especially with my teens.  They are always approaching me with questions about our family calendar while I'm cooking dinner.  Daily, I have to remind them to wait until I can check my day planner...because my mind can not keep track of five conflicting schedules without writing EVERYTHING down.  If it isn't on my calendar, then it ain't happenin'.

They know this and yet they continue to peck.  So I reiterate, "just give me a minute" adding exclamation points with every repetition!

Patience, my young Padawans.  Repeat myself, I will. (Yes, sometimes speaking like Yoda helps.)

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