Tag Archives: maturity

Vocal Microphone

The Voice of Reason

For most of my life I have been one of those people who says what they mean. Sometimes I considered what other people would think or say and sometimes I did not. It was no secret if I did not like you because I was comfortable letting you know that I didn’t. The truth was you didn’t like me either so why pretend? What is interesting about my demeanor is that I was/am a very kind, open and loving person. I just didn’t like to pretend everything was good when it clearly was not. Unfortunately, an “open” policy is not the best or easiest way to get through life.

After my girls were born I started working on making my internal person become more in line with my exterior shell. I no longer say it like I really want too (oh I do in my head), but instead I make calculated decision about what I say, when I say it and to whom. The “new” me is due to many hours in counseling and the help of some amazing books in addition due to maturity thanks to growing older. I have had to process some ugly things from my past and getting rid of those skeletons has really helped mellow me out.

With my husband I tend to be the voice of reason. I’ll offer him some advice and he’ll be quiet. He will often admit that my perspective or advice is sound, but that he will choose not to follow it. The other night I told him he had a choice, you can do this or you can do that. He admitted that he knew he had a choice. I’m making progress on him, but don’t let him know that. The other day he actually repeated something I said to his father. It was all I could do not to point out that it was the same advice I had given him, nah, better to let him think he came up with them all on his own.

Right now I do not feel like the voice of reason because I am very upset about something and I ranted to my husband; something I have not done in months. He laughed when I noted that I know better than to rant and to let the matter upset me. Yet, he is upset about the same thing too so he thinks my rant is on point and totally funny.

I have an idealistic expectation to always be the voice of reason. I feel like I should not let anything bother me. As we all know, that would be unrealistic because we are all way too emotionally to reason through everything. Truly for the past 6 -12 months have been able to process and let go of issues that might have otherwise upset me. So I ask myself, why does this issue bother me so much? Why can’t I just let it go? We’ll the truth is, I can. I just have to choose to do so.

We all have a choice. I wish other people could see they have choices too. Not everyone wants to accept or embrace the choices in front of them. Staying in victim mode or continuing the conflict does not give you real power, only perceived power. If only they knew the real power is in the choice to let go, they would be so much happier. And I feel better now too since I have made the decision to move on and not let this issue bother me any more.

by Kelly Damron


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It's a Marathon, Not a Sprint

a scuba diver under waterDo you ever get sick of having the same old battle over and over with your kids? Or how about wearying of just getting one problem solved, only to have a new conflict emerge?

It gets old, doesn’t it?

I’m not going to list for you the various difficulties and frustrations that led me to this post. Most likely you’ve got a similar list. If you’re anything like me, you’ve had that moment where you think, “Sheesh. How much longer do I have to do this? Why don’t they just get it?”

Assuming that a child is all grown up and matured by their 18th birthday (I decided to be generous in my terms), that means that we’ve got 18 complete years together. To look at it another way, that means

  • 216 months
  • 6570 days
  • 157,680 hours
  • 946,080 minutes or
  • 567,648,000 seconds

That’s not short. This parenting gig is a long-term thing. Sometimes it feels like we’re never going to finish this journey, and like everything I do is a flop. The eye-rolling and frustrated sighs from my pre-teen children certainly don’t help.

But.

Time marches on, and they move toward maturity every day. I just can’t always see it when I’m in so close. There will come a time when the conflict and struggles cease, and they take their places besides us as equals and friends.

Then they’ll have kids of their own, and I will be free to laugh when they find out why I’ve been ripping out my own hair all these years.

by AmyL


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What Time Do Your Children Go To Bed?

a cat sleeping _ orange and white tabbyWe’ve talked about how much children sleep before, but I don’t remember discussing bedtimes. What time do you send your children to bed?

Around here, the march to bed begins at 8:30 or so. Sometimes it’s earlier, but that’s our usual accomplishment. The boys don’t have to go to sleep at that time. The younger ones are allowed to read, chat, or play quietly until 9:30 while the older boys have until 10:30. Although this summer they’ve been pushing that much later, the stinkers. On non-school nights, they’re welcome to watch a movie together in the older boys’ room. This happens once or twice a month.

Once they’ve had a snack, brushed their teeth and prayed, the boys are sent to bed while Hubby and I retire to the sofa for some quiet time. This is our time to talk, catch up on computer work, or veg out in front of a movie or show without constant demands for attention from the boys. Well. By “constant demands,” I mean “repeated requests while they’re sitting nearby.” What we usually have is “occasional requests as they imagine up new ones and walk down from the bedrooms to ask.” This is better than it used to be. At one point in life, Hubby actually made up a spinner on a paper plate with different excuses to get out of bed and, when The Mercenary showed up, he’d spin it to guess what the request was going to be. This was after weeks of sending him to bed only to have him come up with One More Thing. Every night. I think he was 6 at the time.

Hubby and I need to have some time every day without kids. Don’t get me wrong: we love them to pieces. But we need some Us time as well. It’s good for our marriage, our attitudes towards the boys, and our sanity in general. But now that they’re getting older (12 and 7), how does that balance exactly?

by AmyL

Photo graciously provided by Bashed, through a Creative Commons license, some rights reserved

I'm Gonna Need Some Dating Advice

a boy and girl holding hands on a beachI picked the older boys (age 12) up from a week at camp last Friday and was a bit surprised to see how many girls were hanging around. It wasn’t just the friendly vibe we’ve seen in years past; these girls were interested in one of my boys.

Hubby and I have known that this would happen at some point, but this was still a bit of a surprise. And girls today are much more forward than I ever was. (Granted, I was extremely awkward socially.) I was trying to talk to the boys about getting packed up and so on but girls kept flitting around us. One of them stood in really close to us, looked at me and said, “Hi!!!!” I wasn’t really certain what she wanted, so I just responded with a greeting and tried to continue talking to my boys.

When we walked to the car to load up the sleeping bags and suitcases, some girls followed us and got their pictures taken with The Mercenary. TechnoBoy was in the car by then, and I stuck my head in to ask, “Did those girls follow him around all week?”

“Oh yea,” he said.

“Did your brother like girls following him around all week??”

“Nope,” came the reply. “They drove him crazy.”

“Oh good!” I said. “That’s my boy.”

We’ve told the boys they can’t date until they’re 16, and that needs to be group dating situations until they’re 18. That may sound harsh in today’s day and age, but from our vantage point it’s highly unlikely that they’ll meet someone at the age of 12, date her and only her for several years, get married, and live happily ever after. There’s plenty of time in life to pursue relationships; putting it off until they’re older gives them the chance to grow and mature first.

That isn’t going to stop girls from being attracted though. Hubby was cleaning out the car the next day and found a note from a girl. It was a bit accusatory, saying that my son wasn’t talking to her directly. I think she wanted him to say he is her boyfriend, because it ended by asking him “so is it yes or no?”

Sigh.

So far both boys are saying that they’re not interested in having a girlfriend. That’s going to change at some point no doubt. Which is fine, but I want them to be as well-armed as possible in advance. Girls can take relationships so seriously at this age! Even though they know in their heads that 12 or 13 is too young to find a husband, they’re so often looking for Prince Charming anyway. That’s a lot of pressure and expectation to bear.

What have you done to navigate this area of life with your children?

What do I do if girls start calling on the phone?

by AmyL

Photo graciously provided by mikebaird, through a Creative Commons license, some rights reserved

“I Can’t!” ~ Enough Said

a compass and attached chainTransitioning from the baby to toddler years, from a place where you do everything for them to teaching them how to do things for themselves is nothing less than a challenge, in my opinion.  Every time I would push for them to have more independence, they would struggle, and then I would wonder if what I’m expecting of them is more than what their age can handle.

So far my oldest son is just like me, independent.  He’s has taken the reins with maturity and independence and run with them.  So one would think I would have the perfect compass to go by, right?  All I’d have to do is pay more attention to when he achieves a milestone, so I can expect the same from the younger ones.  However, that doesn’t always work either.  For instance, my oldest rolled over at 3 months, sat up at 6 months, and knew his letters at 18 months all without my help.  When my other sons achieved those milestones at different times, that’s when I learned each child is different and what one can do by a certain age doesn’t mean the others will achieve them at the same time.

The words “I can’t” come mostly from my anxiety-stricken middle son as well the baby of the family.  The two of them combine to pose a challenge.  The baby, actually not in the baby stage any more since he’s 4 ½, looks up to his anxiety-stricken brother.  I think he would do a lot better, since he does have a strong-willed nature, to look up to his oldest brother, but that’s something I can’t control, only encourage.  His “I can’ts” come from playing the youngest member of the family cards, otherwise known as the “baby card.”  When the baby card is played, it’s a hard one to ignore because he is my last one. But I do my best.  Seriously, I do!

Then, as I mentioned before, there’s my son who struggles with anxiety.  His “I can’ts” happen on a regular basis, and when they do, I either get stubborn and make him follow through or take another direction to get through his insecurity.  It all depends on the situation in regards to the approach I take.  For instance, I planned for all three of my boys to go through 2 years of preschool since our Kindergarten is a full day.  Due to his anxiety every morning, he cried the two years he attended, which made it hard getting through the morning routine.  Then the last step of getting his shoes on was the ultimate challenge, and these were my stubborn times where I new he could do it and I was consistent in my expectation.  I spoke with the Psychologist about our preschool mornings and was told with a child like him he needs to be pushed, children his age can put their shoes on.

Now that my oldest is in 3rd grade, and has a helpful nature about him, he helps me with his younger brother when it comes to Kindergarten homework and “I can’ts.”  There are times Mr. Anxiety struggles with working with me, when it comes to homework. So I take the big brother approach to get him through it, and it works like a charm.  Thank goodness for my helpful older son.  He was born to be a big brother, just like some women are born to be Moms.

Being the doormat/people pleaser person that I am, I thought I would struggle with parenting, but thankfully my stubborn nature keeps me from doing that, especially when the words “I can’t” are uttered.

by City Chic On A Farm

Photo graciously provided by nullalux, through a Creative Commons license, some rights reserved