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Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches
I really enjoyed this book. I found it very helpful in thinking about ways to manage the little ones with love and care and train them in a way that honors God and brings peace to the home!
I didn’t feel like this is the end all be all of parenting books, but it did help me think about the way I talk to my children and the way I parent them.
There were two chapters in particular that were really convicting. They were entitled Spirited Riders and To the Fifth Power.
The first, Spirited Riders, is about little girls and their emotions. I’ve been known to say I can handle the hyperactivity of boys, but not the drama of girls! And even as my little girl is only 2 years old I have a hard time parenting the drama of emotions… and that was exactly what this chapter was about.
Often as a girl, she is overwhelmed with an emotion and she needs to be taught how to have self-control and deal with the emotion. As a parent I shouldn’t tell her the emotion is bad or that she can’t cry, but help her learn to channel it.
“Little girls need help sorting out their emotions – not so they can wallow in them, but so they can learn to control them.” (page 29)
Little girls can get scared when their emotions ride off without them and they are out of control. They need to be equipped to know how to manage them. I know as a parent, mother, wife and woman I still have a hard time having self-control over my own emotions, so I have a lot to learn myself in this.
“Give lots of praise when you see her overcoming little emotional temptations. Be right there with her as she learns to recognize what is happening. Little girls can be scared out of their minds when their emotions charge off with them. They need the security of parents pulling them back.” (page 30)
The second chapter is called To the Fifth Power. Rachel is referring to her five children (5 and under), talking about how having two children doesn’t double the work, but the fact that it exponentially increases and it isn’t their fault when we are tired, overwhelmed and at our wits end. Because we are having a hard time managing doesn’t mean we can vent on our children.
We can’t parent our children as a group, but it needs to be one child at a time. We can’t punish a child with reprimands purely because we aren’t handling the situation well ourselves. Usually in these situation it isn’t that one child is disobeying, but that all of the little pieces of the picture overwhelm mom. The fact that as we are trying to get out the door Tonchi has stains on his new shirt from breakfast, Koa hasn’t put his shoes on after being asked twice and Aisling has to go to the bathroom AGAIN after going 5 minutes ago, and Mom didn’t manage the morning very well and we are running late.
“Your children aren’t the situation. They are individuals. Disciplining the individual for a collective situation is a great way to alienate your children.” (page 48)
Wow! What a dagger to the heart! I also know that usually what is at the root of an overwhelming situation for me is that I’m craving complete control of a situation and there is no way for that to happen. I get flustered and anger pours out. It not only pours poison out of my mouth, but it tears down those precious and sensitive relationships I have with my children.
This book didn’t offer me any amazing new revelations, but it did remind me of ways I need to work on my parenting and continually find myself on my knees asking for help as I do my best to raise my children to love and honor God.
Have you read this book? What did you think? It’s only 100 pages so it’s short and easy to read! I’d love to hear your thoughts!