Just living my life, and making it work!

Archive for July, 2012

I Am Raising Future Adults, Not Just Children

So today I saw one of those cute little cards you frequently see on Facebook. It read something like…”All I want in life is for my child to be happy. Like if you will always love your child.” At first look it seemed sweet, and i almost pushed “Like”. Then it dawned on me that nothing could be further from the truth. Sure I like to have fun with my kids, and I buy them birthday gifts that I know will make them happy. However, my kids’ happiness is not one of my top parental priorities.

Happiness is transitory and situational. I am much more concerned with my children developing the joy and inner peace that comes with a personal relationship with their Lord, and standing on their own two feet. The way I see it God has I entrusted me with three human beings. My priority as a parent is to teach them about Jesus, and to shape them into responsible productive adults. After all I am raising future adults, not just children. The goal of making kids happy may seem like the loving thing to do. However, it shapes selfish, immature, and overindulgent adults. It fails to teach important lessons such as the value of had work, practice, self improvement, delayed gratification, and fiscal responsibility. All of which bring a sense of accomplishment and life satisfaction that cannot be gained through being indulged constantly in the name of happiness..

As unfortunate as it is, most learning and character building opportunities arise from disappointment and failure. We have to allow our children to experience negative emotions. They cannot win all the time. They need to be told when they didn’t do their best. Don’t get me wrong. These moments should be seen as opportunities to instruct and learn, not to berate or punish. But, so many parents suffer from the “My Precious Darling Syndrome”. These parents believe their children are above the rules, and would never make a mistake. If their child does make a bad decision they either blame the other child or caregiver, or offer an excuse instead of a heartfelt apology. Furthermore they will fight their child experiencing any type of correction or loss of privileges. They are so concerned with self esteem that they over praise their child, and give them an over inflated idea of their capabilities. These are the kids that as adults do not know how to budget their money, expect to live the middle class lifestyle of their parents not realizing the hard work it took to get there. These are also the kids who are unemployed because they expect to have a management job because they have a “degree”, and are not willing to work their way up the way their parents did.

I am not the worlds greatest parent, and my kids have too many toys. I’ll be the first to say that it feels good to make my kids happy, and it is difficult to see them sad or disappointed. But, the next time I am tempted to make an excuse for my kid or blame the situation on the teacher/other kid I’m going to ask myself “is this what I am going to say to his or her boss someday?”. If the answer is no I should probably reevaluate my response.

****Disclaimer****
I wrote this with no specific person or family in mind. It is nothing more than a commentary on what I perceive to be a shift in the parenting style here in America, and the adverse consequences it may have on our society as this generation becomes adults. If you don’t agree feel free to ignore. I won’t have my feelings hurt.

Trying Something New

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I come form a long line of brilliantly creative women on both sides of my family. I love to craft, and am constantly working on a project or two. As you can imagine my low vision limits my abilities. For example, seemingly simple task like threading a sewing machine takes me forever. I also have a hard time seeing the marks on measuring tape/cutting boards. It takes me about two to three times as long to complete a task than the average person. I try not to let this discourage me, and have developed my own methods of doing things.

I know there are great products out there meant to make sewing easier for people who have limited vision, but with a baby in the house I am having a hard time finding the blocks of time I need to sit down and sew anyway. My sewing machine is close to the bedroom so nap time sewing is out. Boo 😦 I need something that I can complete in 15 minutes here, 10 minutes there. Just by accident I ran across a felting video on YouTube. it looked like fun, and looked like something I could use to make embellishments on hats, scarfs, and denim. Well this led me down the crafting rabbit hole to knitting my own scarfs and hats to embellish with the felting. I have tried crocheting, but it is very difficult for me to see the stitches, and decide where to properly place the needle each time. Knitting on the other hand looks easier to see as the working stitches are separated on the knitting needle.

I googled ” knitting for low vision”, and discovered something called a loom. It is a round or rectangular piece of plastic or wood that has pegs in it. You knit by wrapping the yarn around the pegs, and pulling loops off in a specific order. This seemed very easy, and a good place to start my knitting adventure. I bought one, and am now well on my way to completing a scarf for my son! I also bought some large knitting needles to practice knitting stitches. I hope to be able to bust out some simple sweaters for the kids this winter. I live in Texas where it doesn’t get to be sweater weather until January or February so I have some time:-)

I was encouraged to learn from a friend that he regularly knits with a woman who is completely blind! I figure If she can I can. I have always had a determined spirit about me. I might have to do things a little different sometimes, but once I set my mind to it there is usually no stopping me. Of course there are things, like crocheting, that I cannot do. I also cannot measure or cut well, so quilting is out. However there are lots of things, like bow making, that I can do. I hope to add looming and knitting to that column soon. If not, than oh well, and on to the next thing. It is totally OK with me to fail, but absolutely not OK to not try.

Here are some things I have made recently…

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Hair Bow

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Super Hero Shield

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Covered Wipe Case

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More Bows

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Scarf I’m working on for my son. He chose the blue yarn:-)