Neylan is currently playing inside his around the world, ask chewing on colored shapes, sickness  and then throwing them on the floor. I sometimes really wonder what goes on in that mind of his. I can sometimes understand what he thinks because life is not just “eat my toys” any more. He knows how to play with them and is experimenting with what they can do and how they do it. It really is a wonder to watch. I love it when he gives me a smile and gets my attention as if to say, pills “Hey Ma! Look what I can do!” I love seeing him reach each milestone. I love seeing him excited about himself. I want to have that continue for him. I don’t want to break my child’s spirit.

“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” Proverbs 17:22

I believe that the book of Proverbs is a good read for even non-Christians. There is so much knowledge in that book. As a mother, I believe that Proverbs 17:22 is a very important verse for all parents.

I know that most parents try to do what they believe is right for their children. I also believe that children are not made using cookie cutters. They are not all the same and as such, we cannot treat them like they are. You can’t even say that some children are squares, some are circles, some are triangles, some are rectangles… because each child is a special human being. I believe that each child is hand crafted and the parents have a great deal to do with how their child turns out. It is the parents job to train, to teach, and to love… Love being the foundation of it all, for without love there is nothing. But in training, parents need to be careful.

I am not at the point where I believe I have made a life altering mistake with my son (seeing as he is only 8 months old), and I hope that I never will be at that point. I know I am not perfect and that there will be something that I’ll do or say that will hurt him, but if I can avoid it I will. Part of that means that I am going to need to be careful what words I use, be careful with the expressions on my face, and be willing to apologize for anything wrong that I have done. I need to not angrily yell at him. I also will need to be willing to listen to him and actually have a conversation with him.

Did you know that when a child does something, they have a reason for doing it. Before you go to correct the behavior, ask why he did it. You might be very surprised as to the reasons for their actions.

Also, did you know that a child could intentionally do nothing wrong, but believe they are misbehaving? I never thought it was possible. But as Mo normally does, she surprised us all! Mikaela decided one afternoon while Kalah was taking a nap that she was going to put all of her Pepperidge Farm Goldfish inside her trick-or-treat pumpkin basket. I walked in to check on her and she confessed to me what she had done. Of course, I did not think anything of it and when Kalah woke up I told her about it. She called Mikaela over and Mo was a bit bashful about what she had done to the point where Kalah had to ask her leading questions. It was then that I realized that Mo believed she was doing something wrong and that she had done it on purpose. I don’t know how I would have handled that if Neylan did it. I can’t think of anything other than telling him that what he did was not in and of itself wrong, but his motives for doing it were not pure.

If there is one thing that I learned from Kalah’s dealings with Mikaela, it is that parents get a lot further with their children if they communicate with them about “disciplinary problems”. If you are willing to communicate with them about that (meaning that you also listen to their sides of the story), then how much more do you believe that they will come to you when they are in need. They will trust that mom and dad will be there for them, that they might not be happy with what they have done, but good ol’ mom and dad will be willing to listen to their side of the story.

Can you imagine being that type of parent? Imagine a situation happens in your child’s teen years, such as getting drunk at a party, if you have that type of relationship with your child you could very well be the one that they call to get a ride. You could also be the one to talk to them about that behavior. By being that type of parent, you could even avoid that situation all together.

Being a parent isn’t one-sided. Just like a Christian’s relationship with God, it is 2 sided, and we should want to hear their voices like God wants His believers to pray.

I hope that you will take heed and use my novice advice to the best of your ability. I am not going to say it is easy and I don’t believe that it will be for me either. But I beg of you, don’t break your child’s spirit. It is that spirit that will be needed to change the world.

Megan A.K.A. “Mom”