Thursday, June 26, 2008

Compassionate Consistency

Okay, so I’ve spent more time thinking about how I want to parent Owen, and I’ve finally come up with a title for my philosophy, if you will.

“Compassionate Consistency”

I want to be compassionate:
I want to remember that he is a child, and I am the adult.
I want him to know he is loved and cherished.
I want to show him affection and understanding.
I want to give him the freedom to make mistakes.

I want to be consistent:
I want my yes to mean yes and my no to mean no.
I want to him to be able to depend on me.
I want him to be able to anticipate what is coming, and not feel like his world is unpredictable.
I want him to feel secure and confident with me.

I’ve discovered that I have a terrible time being compassionate when I’m tired or when things are not going my way. If I want Owen to nap and he won’t fall asleep, then compassion seems to go out the window.

And I’m such a random person myself that it’s hard to be consistent with Owen’s schedule, even when I know that he does best with a regular routine.

So each day I set myself a few small goals, and I’m happy to say that I’ve gone a whole week without getting angry at Owen for not sleeping. I’ve had compassion for him when he’s having a rough day, instead of getting upset at him for being cranky.

And I’ve created some routines for meal times and naps and bedtimes that Owen has responded to, making our family life a little more predictable. Of course, I’ve also had him out and about a lot more lately, which has messed up his routine. Even when I try to make room for him to still get his naps and meals at the same times, somehow it doesn’t work out just right and he’s off his schedule again.

So we’re getting there…figuring out how we each contribute to the family as a whole, and learning how to love and serve each other in the ways we need.

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