Some days I don't parent my kids.
And you know what? I shouldn't. And I don't.
Not because I can't handle it anymore or because I am feeling too frustrated (those are other days...), but because it is good for my kids, and it is good for me too.
I am discovering that it is really important for me to take time some days to step back and just let my kids be.
I am realizing that the harder I try to be a good parent and the more I get on them for every little thing, every single time - use your manners, clean up, don't do this, don't do that, be careful, be kind....- the less they listen and the more they act up and disobey. Then we all get in a grouchy mood that carries on for days.
And then I realize that I need to lighten up. I need to give them some space to breathe.
I need to trust them.
I do not need to parent them all the time.
They need to learn from their actions and their behaviors.
Giving them some space allows them to learn more from their experiences, more than if I were just telling them what to do or how to behave.
Sometimes, like the past few days, I seem to forget that I need to give them some space. Sometimes I get on them for every little thing they seem to do "wrong".
Then I realize that I need to step back.
I need to just watch them be kids.
I need to watch them learn things for themselves.
I am still there for them when they need me or to make sure they are being safe,
But I also need to step back for myself, not just for them.
I need to step back and see my kids, watch my kids, listen to my kids because they show me that I am actually winning at this whole parenting thing once in a while. They show me that they are kind, loving, smart, compassionate kids even when they think I am not looking.
Stepping back and letting them be changes my perspective. It takes me out of the "right now" picture and helps me to see the bigger picture. The picture that really matters -that they don't behave perfectly every moment of the day, but overall, they are remarkable and wonderful.
Stepping back recharges me. It brings me joy. It makes me a better parent and a better person.
Stepping back also makes my kids better kids. It shows them that I trust them.
I will still get in their faces for things, of course. I am their mom. But I may not do it as frequently or I may take a day or half a day, and just not do it at all. They don't need me constantly nagging them to say "please or thank you". They know their manners and I can remind them now and then, but giving them some space gives them the freedom to say it when they chose to, not when I tell them to.
I need to trust myself and my parenting and know that I am doing a good job teaching them what they need to continue growing into Godly adults.
Giving your kids their space is not neglectful. They are fed, clothed, clean, and safe. I do not step back because I just don't feel like dealing with them. It is intentional and it is so good for them and even more so for me. Stepping back is different than giving them more independence. I am not necessarily giving them more independence, but rather I am choosing not to interfere as much.
This has been so important for us and I find that if I have been too "in their face" for too long and haven't taken the time to step back, everyone is grumpy and moody and unhappy.
Take the time to step back for an hour, half a day or even an entire day. And just watch what happens.