Tag Archives: motherhood

The Undisclosed Cost of Spanking

After lots of Facebook discussion, I think I have decided that spanking your child is a lot like charging an undisclosed amount to your relational credit card. Credit can be used as a tool. Some people use it all the time and pay it off monthly, others choose to forgo credit completely and others use it for everything and only pay the minimum balance, or worse, don’t make any payments at all.

In my experience, I often accidentally make withdrawals. Failing to plan ahead, I put Dillin in a position where he is more likely to have a meltdown, and in those moments it can be to forget that I’m the adult and I need to stay calm even if my son can’t. Thankfully, I have made a concerted effort to improve in this area and I feel that it is really paying off. Still there are times when I get flustered, forgetting that he is nearby, and he thinks that I am upset with him. Or if I laugh because he is being cute and he thinks I am laughing AT him, which causes him to stop whatever he is doing and sob. Because of these accidental withdrawals, I try to make hourly deposits. Even spare change deposits add up when withdrawals are few and far between.

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Some kids have low interest rates, so to speak, so having a line of credit isn’t as big of a deal. They aren’t emotionally fragile, don’t hold grudges, have good attitudes even when things don’t go the way they had hoped. Even so, a line of credit with an undisclosed balance is potentially very dangerous.

At this point, my son has a very high interest rate. This doesn’t worry me because he’s only one. And because I try to make an obscene amount of deposits on a daily basis.

In closing, I would caution any parent who is convinced they know exactly how much damage they are doing when they frequently use spanking. Kids have variable interest rates and that kind of arrogance is exactly what precedes the discovery that your credit card balance is actually the size of a small mortgage.

If you have run up a monstrous amount of relational debt due to yelling, hitting, neglecting or abuse I sincerely hope you’ll choose to apologize to your children and seek out peaceful parenting solutions that work for your specific family. Don’t expect your children to automatically take your word for it, after all, they’ve been hiding their naughty behavior as best they can because they DON’T trust you. But eventually, when they see that you mean it, they will come around. And, unlike actual credit cards, kids don’t require bankruptcy in order to forgive a debt. :)

Photo found here

This website has a lot of very helpful information on positive parenting ideas, especially for strong willed children.

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How We Do It: Family Worship

DON’T LOSE FOR WINNING

It may strike some of you as comical that I even attempt to make family worship a habit in our home. (“Didn’t she just curse in her last blog post?!”) But, believe it or not, I do! I’ve been tossing the idea around for a while now and we have finally settled on a basic set up, at least for now.

If you’ve known me for any length of time, or followed my blog, you probably know that flexibility is a strength of mine and consistency is most certainly not. I think that even attempting to have a regular (or irregular) time for family worship glorifies God, so even if we only average one or two days a week until Dillinger graduates, that’s still over 1,300 occasions!

So my goal is to hit four days a week. I feel like that is plenty and was encouraged when Andy Stanley said that’s about how often they have prayer together at night as a family. There is nothing I want to avoid more than family worship being a miserable, mandatory religious event! Because of this, I prioritize being flexible. Days, times, content – all of it is up for debate.

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This article by our pastor is my absolute favorite blog post on the topic of family worship. It’s where I have taken a lot of my queues as I have been trying to get this thing off the ground and make it a normal, if not regular, occurrence! I think the first point he makes is really important. KEEP IT SHORT! Again, creating a miserable, mandatory religious event is the quickest way to turn family worship into family warfare. There are times where as a parent, you lose even if you win. My advice would be to walk this line very carefully. I think that unless conversation goes long organically, even 30 minutes is really pushing it, even for high schoolers.

READY SET GO

After much internal arguing, I get up and make breakfast for Dillinger and myself and sometimes my husband. (Oops. Maybe I should work on husband’s breakfast as an act of service and worship?) Immediately after eating we start by learning the kids New City Catechism. This is incredibly important to me. So many children grow up attending church and memorizing verses but don’t know anything about Biblical doctrine. Dillinger is too young to repeat it, but I ask the question twice and then give the kids’ answer. The colored text is the portion selected for younger children.

After that, I dust the eggs off of Dillinger into the trash and we read a chapter of the Jesus Storybook Bible. The majority of children’s Bibles are essentially tales in moralism (“Be brave like Daniel”, “Work hard like Joseph”, “Follow God like Abraham”) but our performance is not the heart of the Gospel. So I was pretty darn picky about the Bible we were going to be reading for the next few years!

Finally we pray for sanctification and that the Lord would use the day to make us more like Jesus. Then I turn on some hymns and we rock out while Dillinger tears the house apart and I do the dishes and attempt to overtake him in his mess making.

Then Dillinger has “quiet time” in his room while mom takes a shower and then we are officially ready to start our day!

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Toddler Tantrums

I’m so thankful that the Lord gave us a fairly calm and easy going little boy. Recently I came to realize that I had no clue what I was doing when Dillinger would get frustrated and throw a fit. Stefan Molyneux described what I was experiencing as showing up in a suit of armor to run the New York City Marathon and asking “Ok, where’s the finish line?” Uh, definitely a little late to win but you can still get there if you make some adjustments.

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I thought this article offered a lot of good insight toddler tantrums. In my tiny amount of experience, reading your child’s signs (“I’m tired”, “I’m hungry”, “I’m overwhelmed”) really help in redirecting tantrums and even avoiding them all together. Lately Dillinger has been getting upset because his tower of blocks won’t go as high as he would like or falls over. It’s pretty cute actually, minus the screaming. I know he doesn’t understand but I still try to communicate to him that I know he is upset and offer solutions like, “Try this block instead?” It seems to be working so far.

Best of luck to all my fellow parents and caregivers out there. We truly have the most important job in the world! :)

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Short List of Pacific Northwest-Inspired Baby Names

We wanted to go for an Americana theme with our children’s names. Originally we wanted to go the Latin route but our last name ends with S and Lucius Glass is a little over the top. ;) Americana names are a little rough because we have so much history readily available and associations are still pretty strong. But history, though ugly, is the father of us all. I’m a strong believer that names can and should be redeemed.

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Here are few names I found in a short search that have easy PWN ties.

-Astoria

-Aberdeen

-Asa

-West (duh!)

-Gray

-Lovejoy

-Rose

-Emerald

-Juniper

-Tabor

-Forest

-Fremont

-Lewis

-Clark (again, duh!)

-Reed

-Cascade

-Pacifica

-Ashland

-Meriwether

A few others that go on the Americana list though not necessarily limited to PNW include

-Holliday

-Oakley

-Fairhaven

-Sequoia

-Sierra

-Wilder

-Wyoming

Picture found here.

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This Isn’t A War

I guess I have to go there.

I think the term “mommy wars” is completely absurd. I understand why people use it. Some moms talk like they would die for their causes.  But I hope I’m not the only mother or person else finds it slightly ridiculous and more than a bit insulting. I have opinions. Strong opinions that are rooted in my value system. I am not dropping bombs (figurative or literal) on moms who disagree with me and leaving their children orphans. I will suffer a fair amount of pain for some issues. (Hello, drug free child birth!) But not from you! Other issues I won’t suffer a paper cut for.

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Yes, I feel that unless you are physically unable, you should breastfeed. I also think babies should be respected despite the fact that they aren’t born yet. They have shouldn’t be subjected to unnecessary drugs so that I can avoid a few hours of pain. There are exceptions to all these things. I don’t feel strongly one way or the other about vaccinations or the GMO/organic debate, issues for which some moms might take a bullet. Other moms refuse to post pictures of their kids online. Ok, great. That’s awesome that you respect your child so much! For us, that’s just not reality.

The point is, ALL of these things are opinions. You don’t like what I think? Who cares? I’ve done my research. You’ve done yours. Why do we have to start taking everyone else’s decisions to do things differently like it’s a personal attack? Why do we have to attack people who choose do things differently?

Here’s the deal. I’m not going to start a war. I’m not participating in war. I often make a racket; it’s just my personality to want to make a lot of noise. I want you to hear me. Just like you want me to hear you. I won’t necessarily respect your opinions – I’m just gonna be honest about that. But unless it’s my personal facebook page or blog, I’m not running around telling you how to give birth, what to feed your kid or when they can get shots.

My opinion is just that – mine. It should not make you insecure.

You should feel just as strongly that your planned induction and formula are the right choice for your baby as I feel that my intervention-free birth and breastmilk are for mine. Don’t make choices that you can’t support. If my options were formula or my son wasting away, I’d choose formula too!

Disagree with me? Cool. We can still be friends! I’m not sending anyone home in a casket. So don’t act like I’m a part of your downfall or a part of your war. Don’t imply that because I believe differently that I’m intentionally attacking your choices. There are no uniforms or tanks at my house. There shouldn’t be any at yours. Moms who drink soy milk and babies who were born via c-section are welcome at our house every day of the week!

(Picture found here.)

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Name that Babe!

I saw someone else do this on their blog and I thought it might be a good idea over here.

Full disclosure, I think name meanings are quack.

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(How much does this kid look like Dillinger?!)

“Victoria means VICTORIOUS!”

Ok, or what if it is simply a moniker with no real depth? If I decided to enlist in the army, would I automatically win because my name has magical powers? Does that change who I am as a person? Would I automatically have been a sour person if I had been named Mara? Or industrious if my parents had selected Melissa? I put zero stock into the supposed meaning of names. Persephone is far and away one of my favorite names and apparently it means death. WHO CARES?

I’ve never had anyone ask me what my name meant. Maybe because it’s far too obvious or perhaps because I’ve spent all my life hanging out with the wrong people (ha!) but either way it’s not really high on anyone’s list of priorities.

So then we come to Dillinger.

I’m regularly chastised by those of older generations for naming my son after a bad guy. Right. Because we all know every Charles born after the 1960s was named after Charles Manson, right? And that all Adams will eventually shot up a classroom for of children. That idea is so dumb I can’t even talk about it anymore. Moving on.

Dillinger is a derivative of either diligent or of the name of a German village. I think the concept of diligence is all but lost in our culture so if that’s really where the name came from than awesome. If not, oh well.

Dillinger has two middle names. David, which is N’s dad’s first name and my dad and brother’s middle name. Burton is his second middle, which is his great grandpa’s last name. Grandpa Ned, as well call him, didn’t have any boys. So N got the middle name Burton and so did Dillinger. And so will any other kids we might have for that matter. I really like it. I have no idea what it means. And I’m ok with that.

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Parenting How-Tos

Where is the Emotional Guideline Handbook for raising children?

No, seriously. I need that.

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From what I can tell, there are two camps. There are parents who confide emotionally in their children and there are those who refrain from engaging their children on any emotional level for fear of being emotionally manipulated by them. I know there are (there have to be!) also parents who have managed to dig out some middle ground, but as with everything in life, the extremes make the most noise and get the most attention. I understand the temptation to veer really hard one way or the other.

While I think “everything in moderation” is highly overrated (and frankly, stupid) I do strive to find middle ground in my parenting. For example, I’m not a schedule Nazi with Dillinger but I also work toward a general routine with him. I feel like there has to be balance in being an emotional safe haven for our kids while not allowing them as they get older to manipulate us.

While friendship is pushing it, I still want my son to enjoy being around me. I want him to feel comfortable confiding in me for as long as possible. It seems like self-sabotage to tell your kids you want them to like you, though. Any good parent has made peace with being the bad guy sometimes.

So if any of you see the handbook on balancing emotional honesty and support with your children, please send it my way!

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