>God Help Us…The Terrible 2’s are here

>This has been a terrible weekend as far as Leila behavior has gone. I love her to death, but it is getting to be very frustrating.
Cory hit the nail on the head this morning in the car while she was throwing a monster tantrum after church, “It’s kind of interesting that Leila likes that Beauty and the Beast book so much…I think that title fits HER very well.” and I whole heartedly agreed. She is a beauty, who has a tendency to morph into a beastly little thing.
Today we had a fit in the morning during church…she wanted to climb over the back of the pew and onto the table behind it. I tried to pull her back over and make her sit down, and she tried to bite me. Not good. Cory ended up taking her out of worship and downstairs to play on the playground equipment outside of the church. I understand that sitting quietly for an hour and a half is a lot to ask of a 2 year old, but I do have some concern about how that might look to Leila. “All I have to do is throw a fit and bite someone and then I get to go outside and play.” I don’t know what we should do in situations like that. But we had another fit when it was time to get in the car and leave. She screamed and arched her back so we couldn’t buckle her seat belt. Cory fought with her for a while but finally we just said fine, that we would just sit in the car until she calmed down. That worked, she was diffused pretty quickly and then did a pretty good job after that. It seems like her little fuse is just getting shorter and shorter and it is getting harder and harder to get her to do anything we want her too.
After Church we went through the mall to look for some sandals for Leila and we ran into a couple coworkers. They were both also out for some Sunday shopping and we all happened upon each other in the middle of the mall and stopped to chat for a minute. One woman asked us what we were up to today and Cory mentioned that we had just come from church and were picking up a few things before nap time. She looked at the other woman in our group and asked, “Did you go to church today?” She answered no, and the first woman said, “Oh good, I am not the only one that skips church!”
We quickly confessed that this was our first time there in a couple of months too, and are not what one would call loyal church goers. This led to a discussion of church and why would one go or not go. I mentioned that for me, Church isn’t so much for myself, as I feel pretty grounded in my faith (though, I do enjoy church and feel renewed faith from attending). I want to be sure that church is a part of Leila’s understanding of the world.
These two paragraphs are related by a theme that is very important to me. As a mother, it is something that I grapple with all the time. How do I raise my child to be the best that she can be? I try to think about the way that I interact with Leila and the things that I teach her and talk to her about, and how those things might impact her development.

So I have an assignment for my fellow blogging mom’s. Make a post on your own blog about your parenting values. What’s important to you?

This is something that i think about a lot. And I fall short of a lot. For me, the most important things for me to teach Leila are as follows:
Compassion – I never want to hear that my child intentionally hurt another person, I want her to have the ability to put herself in other’s shoes and treat people the way she would want to be treated.
Self Confidence – No matter what she looks like, or what she is good at or not good at, I really hope that my daughter will be better at recognizing her strengths and feeling comfortable with herself. Along this same line, I want to teach her self respect and personal value. I know that I set a bad example, and I need to be more careful about the way that I talk about myself, not just for Leila, but for myself as well. I am what I am, and I know that there is no better way to teach Leila self acceptance, then to have that quality myself, and I am not quite there yet.
The importance of family – When I was a teenager my great grandfather passed away. He had lived into his 80’s and I have memories of him from my childhood, but he was a quiet man, and not someone that I was particularly close to. I remember that when it was time to make the trip across the state for his funeral, I begged my dad to let me stay home. I don’t know what it was I didn’t want to miss, but I don’t doubt that I had my priorities out of line. My dad was angry with me and he said, “You may not feel like you need to be there but if it wasn’t for him, you wouldn’t be here!” I felt terrible because he was right. And I packed my stuff and I went, I don’t think that anything that anyone has ever said to me has resonated like that did. I hope that from then on I have lived my life with an appreciation for my family that I can pass on to my children. Not only would I not be here but for my parents and grandparents, but I would not be who I am if not for my siblings and my aunts and uncles and cousins. When we leave this earth, all we have to leave behind is what we created, and I learned that from my great grandpa, and my father, and it brings me comfort now when I think of my grandma Dalene and the love she left with me. I hope that Leila will understand that, and cherish the people that she is blessed to have along side her during this life.
Health – This is another tough one for me…I want Leila to eat whole foods, healthy foods, and of course, this starts at home. I am trying very hard to cook more, and cook healthier, but again, this is something I am not doing well enough with.
Gratefulness – I try very hard to be thankful for what I have, which is no small amount of wonderfulness. I hope that Leila will be able to see that when she sees other kids with more stuff, better bikes, bigger houses and fancier cars. We are beyond blessed, and I want to teach her to recognize that in the face of envy.
And last, but certainly not least…Faith. For me, faith is very strongly coupled with compassion and gratefulness. I will not be upset if Leila grows up and decides that she is not Christian. I will be sad if she doesn’t grow to have faith in something bigger than herself, and a reason to live a compassionate and grateful life of love for others.

I know these are pretty steep expectations that I have put on myself, but I don’t necessarily look at them as expectations for her. I adore Leila, even when she is the “beast.”

If anyone has some parenting tips for me, I am all ears! Comment away!

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2 Responses to >God Help Us…The Terrible 2’s are here

  1. >Good post…I struggle with the same parenting issues. I look at Harley and wonder what kind of a woman will she make in 20 years….which will most likely have to do with how we raise her. You have some great values and I have no doubt Leila will be so thankful to have a mother like you. Even if you wouldn’t let her crawl over the pew! :)I will start on my post….:)

  2. Laura says:

    >That was a tough challenge. It is something we all think about (that is what makes us such great moms) but it is really hard to put in words. Thanks for the challenge! Now if only we could get our husbands to do the same so we could compare notes;)

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