The most important part of their childhood will be the feelings they have.
Children have very intense feelings of all kinds- fear, anger, sadness, joy, delight, love.
They come with personalities and character traits. One of your most important jobs as mother is to teach them how to deal with their feelings.
One year for Christmas, Santa brought me a baby girl and a rocking chair. A big white wicker one to rock her in. I was in hospital with baby over Christmas so my husband carried the chair on his head through the corridors to my room so I could get started right away.
Ah how I love little boys! Especially mischievous, wild, naughty little boys. Such exuberance for life. Do you really want them to be sitting quietly and calmly instead of taking the world by storm? A punch on the arm means, "Hi, come play!" Another little boy knows what it means. A little girl thinks, "He's so mean".
How much nicer is it to play with your child, than try to get him to do what he doesn't want to do?
How much more fun is it to plan something to delight them, like toasting marshmallows over a fire, than standing over them forcing a task.
A baby comes into the world with an "I'm the centre of the universe" viewpoint. The indignant cries of a 2 month-old who has been made to wait 20 secs for her milk. The temper tantrums of a two year old -"What??!! Me, not getting what I want! Unthinkable!" Slowly they are trained by love and observation that there ARE others in the world, but that inner "I am important" is strong in children, as it should be.
An important part of the vision I had for my family was brotherly love. That my boys, and later on, my girls, would play happily, keep teasing and wrestling to a non painful level, be happy for each other's success and stick up for each other.
That's where the other two parts of discipline come in- Play and Loving attention. Drop everything and work on these so that the problem shrinks, the child feels your love, is having fun with you, instead of having you cross with him. More on this- the fun part of mothering- later.
The most important thing to a home is YOU, the mother.
Where ever you live, make it a place of peace and love. Add as much beauty as you know how. Remove as much of the ugly as you can.
The place to raise children is in the home. The things they are learning from you at home are very valuable.
It's how a child learns.
You've seen them at it- They are so intensely involved in their game that nothing else matters- not hunger or cold or tiredness. The game is
so important to them that anything else is an interruption- their eyes shine, their cheeks are rosy. They are intensely and joyfully in the moment.
SPACE, freedom, adventure, running. Forget free range chickens, we need free range children - not cooped up and electrically coddled. Get out that energy in healthy ways for children who are tired from burning up their energy, not tired from lethargy.
Instead of just handling problems as they come up, it WORKS so much better to have a time when the children are receptive, because they know family night is fun. They expect to be taught. You can work on even touchy subjects in a positive way. You can prevent problems and strengthen character traits.
It is always better - easier, quicker, less painful - to prevent a problem than to correct it. If you have a dream of having a family that helps each other and enjoys being together, it is much better to teach and develop and nurture this in the early days than to try to correct it after you've come up against problems
This is what I think about it after 24 years of wondering WHY babies don't come with an off switch..... There are a few things you can do. You're probably at the stage where you've tried everything. And go for it, do try everything - you might find something that works with your wakeful one....
OK, so admit it. When you are angry you are NOT your best self. Pretty much, it's you at your worst. For this reason, I think guilt is great. It is so painful that it makes you want to do better- pushes you to become the kind of person you are striving to become.
You may find that when she knows she will have playtime with you, your undivided attention, she will be more willing to play happily while you do tasks later. "We'll play together, then I have to do some work, but we have a whole hour first! And we'll do playhour again tomorrow!"
This childhood you are living with your child includes happy unhurried hours, introducing her to the big, beautiful world and enjoying her responses. You both love spending time together and try to eliminate those things that keep you busy and apart.
I would visit my grandparent's home in Canada as a small child. This is how they did family prayer. They set the table with the dishes face down, all knelt beside their chairs, chose one person to pray, sat up, turned their plates over and began the meal. I was very impressed by this and it has been my ideal.
I have never been able to make it happen like that. But it doesn't matter how you do family prayer. What matters is that you just DO it!.
Look for the early warning signals, the storm approaching, and use it then. This is preventative. And, as you get good at it, people will say things like, "Your children are so easy to manage. They must be docile." And you smile sweetly and say, "Yes, aren't they darlings."
I had this quote on my fridge for years to try to correct my thinking and actions on bossing!
The mother job involves a ton of bossing! We tell them to do everything from brushing their teeth to practicing times tables. It is very hard to get away from all this bossing. We don't like doing it, and you may have noticed it's not received very well. Who else will get children to do all that stuff if you don't?
A little spirit child is ready to come down to earth.
Heavenly Father says, "It's your turn. Are you ready?"
Spirit child, "No, I don't want to go. It's a strange place down there. I'm afraid."
Heavenly Father, "I will send an angel to watch over you."
Watch your baby. She sees something new - say, a cup - grabs it, touches it, feels it all over, turns it round and round, tastes it, sucks on it. She's so interested in it that she will cry if you take it away before she's done.