Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Seasons of a Mother's Heart: A Touch of Sympathy

Thank you for joining me once again, as I review the book I am reading:  A Season's of a Mother's Heart by Sally Clarkson.  You can read other mom's reviews on my friend Erin's website every Friday at

Chapter 7:  A Touch of Sympathy
When I first saw the title of this chapter I thought, "Oh how sweet!  She is switching gears and sympathizing with mom's."  You know we need sympathy sometimes when our days seem like they never end or we have battled the grocery store once again with all kids in tow, or you know those nights that never seem to end because a baby has been screaming bloody murder and you can't do anything about it...(my last night...lovely times)....but I was all wrong on what direction she was taking!  Oh well...who needs sympathy anyways, it my job as a mom to endure all of these things!  

"A sympathetic parent does not condemn or try to change a child's personality but rather, accepts each child's personality as a gift from God and guides it." pg 140

This chapter was about sympathizing with your kids.  I have some friends that I believe would completely disagree with sympathizing with their kids.  Yes, disobedience needs to be corrected, but what is wrong understanding and validating your child's thoughts and feelings?  I will be honest with you...I am not the type of person to sit down and talk with my kids about their feelings.  I am not a feelings kind of person.  Most disobedience requires correction....for example, a child throwing a fit because they didn't agree with XYZ...should be corrected.  My opinion....and has worked with us.  But I do believe sympathizing with my kids work in some situations....and I could definitely do better at it in other areas. 

Sometimes I forget that all of my kids have different personalities.  It is harder to tell with my two little ones, but personalities have definitely blossomed in my older two.  I have learned that I have to talk to each of my kids differently and discipline them a bit differently.  For our 4 year, I have to remember her personality is night and day compared to our 6 year old...and oh she isn't 6....sometimes I compare her too much to my older one, thinking...why is she not acting like my older one? For her sometimes holding her and sympathizing with her helps correct her behavior when I know a melt down is about to happen...usually for her it is because she has chosen not to take a nap.  For my 6 year old, she is a pleaser.  One stearn look could correct her behavior.  

Other key points:
~~ Believe in your child's potential~~ 
The more your children sense that you believe in them, that you think they are special, the more they will want to be around you.  Ever notice how if your children have a close relationship with a grandparent, they sometimes want to be around them more than you?  I have noticed that...the grandparents are usually much more tender, aren't stuck in the daily routine, usually have an open kitchen :)....and open heart.  Sometimes we as parents usually dwell in the bad that comes from our kids.  Sometimes we are busy trying to change our child's personality, instead of accepting what God has given us...rather it is a strong willed child, or a child who is over bubbly.

~~Learn the language of sympathy~~
Like I said before I am not a feelings type of person...I don't like talking about feelings, nor do I ask my kids to talk about their feelings, but the author states that if you just agree with their "I bet you are frustrated about XYZ...I can understand how you feel, lets try this again later."  Will work.  This will require some work for me.  Again the author states that more stearn correction is needed in some cases,  but depending on your child's personality, they are sometimes just looking for someone to validate their feelings.  It has worked for her, so I might try to work on that a little bit.

~~Make sympathy a way of life~~
The "I'm the parent, that's why" approach is necessary on occasion, but sometimes that type of parenting doesn't reach the heart of the a child.  I definitely want to reach my child's heart, so a good balance of discipline and sympathy is the key to reaching these precious heart's.

Well not the best summary...sorry...I definitely have a lot of work to do.  Maybe  I am not a talker....maybe I am not doing it exactly how the author is suggesting...I really don't know.  We will see how this goes and see if I can implement some of her ideas.

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