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I remember asking, “Why can’t I get pregnant?” I desperately wanted a baby, but it just wasn’t happening for us. After a year, we went to a fertility specialist. It would be two years before I got pregnant. Infertility is a heartbreaking thing. It seems as though everyone around you is getting what they most desire while you still aren’t pregnant.
There are many reasons why you might not get pregnant right away. It can be anything from timing to low sperm count to you stressing yourself out. If you’ve been trying to get pregnant for a year without luck, then it is probably time to make an appointment with a fertility specialist.
You may be told that everything is physically fine, in which case you may just need a long vacation and to relax. However, if the doctors find something that is preventing you from getting pregnant, they will offer fertility counseling and options available to you.
Don’t despair. There are many different things that can be done, such as fertility treatments, and in vitro fertilization. There is also the option to adopt a child that really needs a home, or even a baby if you long to cuddle an infant in your arms.
There are some tried and true “momisms”, nuggets of wisdom, our mothers tell us. These are also things we catch ourselves saying to our own kids and suddenly realizing why our moms said them. One of my favorites when my
I’ve over wondered if I’m guilty of too strict parenting. Now that my girls are grown (20 and 23), I look back on their childhoods and I realize I spent way too much time worrying what other people thought, making sure my kids weren’t “bothering” anyone else, and tending to the rules.
When you’re in the middle of raising your children, it seems like that magic number 18 is so far away. People tell you that it goes by in the blink of an eye, but you don’t think it really does. You have however many more years to raise your child. However, it is true that suddenly your child is graduating from high school and you wonder where all the time went.
Signs of Too Strict Parenting
If you are a strict dad or strict mom with strict rules for your children, your children may suffer from this. Some signs you might be too strict:
- You are constantly correcting your children.
- They miss out on opportunities because you’re worried about them being out of your eyesight.
- About 90 times a day you say, “Don’t,” “Stop,” or “Seriously?”
- Your children clam up when you talk to them or ignore you completely.
The honest truth is that if you are a strict parent you probably realize that you are. You can tell by the other parents around you that you stand out a bit and are a bit more uptight than they are.
Harsh Parenting Effects
One thing I’ve figured out now that my girls are grown is that I’m a nag. I have nagged my kids about anything and everything. Now, that nagging came from good intentions. I wanted my children to excel in life, to be happy, healthy, have good careers and be good people. However, because I nagged them all the time, they got to where they tuned me out and didn’t listen to me about anything.
How to Combat Overly Strict Parenting
I saw the movie War Room and it fired me up. I realized what was lacking in my life as a Christian woman and that was the amount of time I was (or rather wasn’t) spending in prayer. So, for the last year, I have been in daily prayer over my children. I pray for them nearly ever day and sometimes for an hour or more. Sometimes God will lay one daughter on my heart more than the other, so I’ll spend the majority of time praying for that one. Sometimes something has occurred and thus I pray more for that one. Other times, I spend equal time on my girls in prayer.
As I began this new task of being a prayer warrior for my children, I came to a realization. There is one goal for me as a parent. That is that I want my family to wind up together forever in eternity one day. Everything else is fleeting.
While I’m still not perfect about the nagging, because there are things I worry about, it does help. There are many small things that I don’t say anything about these days. I ask myself:
- Is this such an important issue to me that I need to say something?
- Is what they are doing taking them away from the end goal – of winding up all together in eternity after this life?
- Where is their relationship with God?
Those are some powerful questions, but if you can start applying this at least some of the time to your interactions with your children, I believe they will be more likely to listen when it is something important. If your children are still young, then you obviously have to also think about their safety, the morals you are instilling, and basic teaching concepts for life. The older your children are, the easier it is to take a step back and focus on correcting in the areas that are most important to you.
To end, take heart if you’ve been a strict parent. If you didn’t care so much, you wouldn’t bother. However, it is never too late to change and improve your parenting style, so if you feel you are a little too strict, start asking the tough questions about just what is most important to you as a parent and what your end goal is with your child. Once you have the answer to that, the rest should become clearer.
I was reading an article today by Leslie Josel in Family Circle magazine about what happens when you stop telling your kids what to do. Ms. Josel had an interesting take on the way we run our lives and direct our children and I think she makes a very good point. I only wish I’d read this when my girls were growing up, but it’s never to late to start with the questions Josel outlined.
Her point was that she would run around in a rush and tell her kids to get the soccer ball, water bottle and snack. She never gave them a chance to think for themselves. Boy, was I guilty of this. I am so Type A that it isn’t funny. It was so much easier for me to pre-pack a bag for my kids and tell them to grab their backpack, grab their lunch, grab whatever. I could ensure that they never forgot anything and were always prepared. But were they?
Teaching Your Children Responsibility
No! My kids were never prepared. I was the one who was prepared and they had to take no responsibility for it at all. Why would they? I packed their lunches and told them not to forget them. I packed their backpacks and reminded them to grab them. I did everything.
Here is the thing, you should instead say, “What do you need to take to school tomorrow?” or “Do you have everything you need for soccer?”
If the child chooses to not be prepared he or she will learn. Yes, it might be uncomfortable to be the only parent whose child is doing without a water bottle for that practice, but your child will learn a valuable lesson that if you don’t take the time to prepare for practice you are going to be thirsty until you get home.
Questions to Ask Your Kids
The point that Jolen makes is to ask your kids questions that make them think ahead. This teaches them to be forward thinkers. So, you can ask things like “How do you plan to achieve that?” or “What are the steps you’re going to take to meet your goal?”
You get the idea. Instead of doing everything for them, like I did, take the extra time and effort to let them do for themselves and think for themselves. It will take more time and effort now, but it will pay off in the future. Learn from my mistake on this one. It was very hard for my kids to start taking responsibility once grown. One is still working on it. I could have made it a lot easier on them by not making it easy on them.