Wednesday, December 26, 2012

parentood is like learning to play a duet

"parentood is like learning to play a duet"
My son recently started taking piano lessons.  I was admiring his new-found talent and the excitement he had once a new tune was accomplished.  His determination was was a great enjoyment to be able to make a tune.  Then, there was the challenge.  The challenge of playing his piece as his teacher played the accompaniment.  OH MY!  He had to keep his pace and not get ahead of her part.  He had to focus on his goal, not hers.  It took a few times before he could concentrate on his piece and play it simultaneously with hers.  Together, when played correctly, it was beautiful!  It sounded complete!  There was a sense of accomplishment.  Her piece, without his, was unfinished.  His piece, without hers, was missing something, but together, it was pure harmony.  It took effort on both people to come together, to master their piece, to get to the goal.  The goal was not him trying to do her part, or her trying to help him do his, but each went in another direction, with the same ultimate goal-a finished piece.  
 How does that relate to parenting?  In every way.  God gave each of us our own personality, our own upbringing, our own path.  When a man and woman come together to make a family, they have to learn that they are different.  Yes, man and woman are instinctively different, but they are each their own.  When a child comes in the picture, they each have their own ideas of how to parent, how to create a bond with that child, how to create an atmosphere, how to discipline, how to show love, etc.  While the mother may have her own idea of how to handle situations, the father will also have his ideas.  Coming together, with the differences of opinions may in fact help the situation or hinder it.  Each of us can help strengthen the other or balance the other out.  When one is tired and can't figure out how to handle the situation, the other parent may step in to help.  When one parent is better at holding down the bedtime routine...let them.  You may be stronger in another area, such as craft/creativity time, or one may be better at outdoor activities or making sure that their nutrition is kept in line.  One parent may be lax in an area where the other wants to reinforce certain concepts.  Look to each other and write out goals for your family dynamic.  Write down the strengths of each parent and the weaknesses of each (we are all weak in is good to know your boundaries).

As your children get older, create family meetings and find out goals that your family has.  Create a bucket list for the year.  This will help you to see what your child is all about and what is important to them.  Let them also be a part of their discipline.  Be consistent and make sure that your family routine is consistent.  Children often work better if they also know the goal.  What happens if you sway from the goal?    Start over. Get back on track, focus, write ideas down. Remember that each will have their own input, and don't discredit that, but make it work for your family.  Come together with your uniqueness and your family will gain momentum and sound beautiful when you all have the same goal in mind.  It is never to late to learn from each other, build each other up, or to encourage each other to achieve goals.

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