Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Parenting is Hard!

What an adventure!

We have about a week and a half of our homeschool under our belt for this year and I can already see some things that are potentially going to be challenging.

What am I saying? Some things that *are* challenging already.

The thing is, I highly doubt that it's only moms that are home with their kids all.the.time that deal with some of these challenges. My guess is that you might be dealing with them too. So....here goes.

Screen time.
Like any other mom, I want as little screen time for our kids as possible. I've read the "Screen time is the devil!" articles.  I know how my kids act when they get too much of it. I get that there are some scary statistics out there of how much time kids these days spend in front of screens, how detrimental it can be, etc.

We've started the school year out pretty well, but I gotta say - limiting screen time is definitely a challenge. For one, we use an online curriculum. Our 6 year old learned to read online, reads books online (as well as physical ones, but her "schooling" is online), is currently (as I'm typing this) doing copywork from an online Bible, and has a lot of screen time just to do all her school subjects. Same with our 4 year old, though I'm just doing some super-short preschool activities with him daily. So, since his school takes up so little time, he's always looking for things to do while big sister does her school. He's done a really great job keeping himself occupied so far, but I don't know how many weeks/months he'll be into playing Cootie, Dominoes, and coloring non-school things by himself. As I'm typing this he's playing a game on the Kindle. Granted, it's educational, but still. Gah. It's so hard!

So, I guess I'm just going to have to continue to do my best but not beat myself up over screen time. It's definitely a challenge in this world, but as long as I keep a balance of sorts it's ok. Right? Someone tell me I'm right, please! ;)

So this isn't an issue with our son yet, but it's pretty easy for our sweet little miss and I to butt heads on things. Often.

She's hit an age (and growing into her personality) where she definitely has her own ideas of how things should be, how she should be expected to do them, and she really doesn't like me giving her my input. Which is a bit of an issue with homeschooling and me being her main teacher. (I think she enjoys it when her daddy is around to teach her instead of me, but maybe I'm just being too sensitive - ha!)

Anyway, we have had several conversations about her attitude, about how she's expected to respect me, how certain things she says and attitudes she has simply are not acceptable, and how there will be consequences for those things if she doesn't change her actions.

So far so good. I want her to be independent. I really do. But at 6 years old she still needs guidance, and I'm doing my very best not to squash her independent spirit. I want her to think of different ways to do things. But I want her to be open to *all* possible ways of doing things...even if some of those ideas are coming from me and she really doesn't want to hear them :)

This isn't really about our son. Again, it pertains to our precious oldest.

I was so totally like her in this area when I was her age that I honestly don't know what to do about it. Maybe there's really nothing to do but what I'm doing and just wait for this phase to pass. We've tried breaks, moving on to different things, etc, etc. But sometimes it is just extremely difficult for her to stay focused on a particular task. I for sure would never want her not to daydream or doodle like any other 6 year old. But, when I'm sitting right next to her and trying to get her to read through something and she absolutely can't seem to finish it, I have a very hard time not getting irritated.

I'm doing my best, and I know she is too. There are simply some things that are more difficult to deal with than others. This is one of those things for me. Please don't judge. I know she's just a little kid and she shouldn't be expected to have to do any one thing for too long. It doesn't change the fact that I find it crazy annoying.

I'm sure that when our little Jellybean makes his or her appearance in the next several weeks we will be presented with a whole new list of challenges in our routines, schooling, and just general overall life. But for now, I'm just going to do my best to be very very happy that we have the opportunity to school our children, that I get to be home with them and work from here.

Is it always easy? Heck no. But, by doing what I'm doing, I get to be the main source of our kids' encouragement, I get to teach them all kinds of stuff that they won't learn from books (or online curriculum). I get to be their first teacher (as ALL moms are), and I love every minute of it. Even the annoying and challenging ones.

So, whether you homeschool, send your kids to public or private school, or maybe your kids aren't in school yet. Whether you work outside the home, from home, or don't have a job other than the utmost important job of raising your precious children, just know that you are NOT alone! This whole parenting thing? It's HARD! Hang in there, continue to believe and KNOW that you are the absolute best parent for your child(ren), and that you and only you know what's best for your family.

And if you are in need of a little support, don't hesitate to seek out some advice from your "village". If you need a village, let us know! We are here for you - you've got this, mama!


1 comment:

Kacie Z said...

I can relate to the "screen time" challenge! I also try not to beat myself up too bad over screen time. Seems like I'm constantly trying to find ways to limit it or looking for other activities to do or things to play with instead. At least we try to limit most iPad games to educational ones so she's actually learning or practicing skills while she plays. And if it's TV, usually only PBS or the more educational Disney shows and maybe a movie here and there for quiet time. I also find that it helps to make time for at least 1 outdoor activity or play time during the day. Even if the weather is unfavorable, we try to get outside for at least a little bit for some fresh air. We have a sheltered front and back porch which help with that part if it's raining. :) And remember, kids need breaks and downtime to do what is relaxing to them as well, just like adults! My daughter's relaxing "privilege" time is when she gets to play the iPad or watch something on TV. If she gets too many "check marks" (from making bad choices, not listening, etc) earlier in the day, she loses privileges for a few hours or until the next day. So we also use screen time as sort of an incentive.