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Old 12-02-2017, 08:12 AM   #1
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What my kids have taught me S/O

As a couple of us were discussing in another thread, I think each of our children are given to us for a reason, and teach us something. Here are the ones I feel like I have figured out so far, although I continue to learn from them as I go.

Keegan--He taught me how to be a mother. To love fully and deeply, to put someone else's needs in front of my own and the joy of parenting.

Rachel--She has taught me the value in research and advocacy. How important it is to trust your mama gut and not just listen to the advice of others, even those in important positions, like doctors. Perseverance was a big one, because she medical stuff took a long time to figure out, and if it were up to the doctors she would just be living on a feeding tube. She awakened my mama bear instincts--we got so many ridiculous comments during her infancy/toddlerhood, and I became fiercely protective and defensive. She refines my character because she is my mini-me....most of her personality spots are mine and it allows me to see myself more clearly and keep working on smoothing down the edges.

Kennah--This one is harder for me to admit, as it is one of those character flaws I have had to work on. So my apologies for my ignorance before Kennah taught me some things. Kennah taught me that it is ok to be different. That our value is not connected to our IQ score, and that just because I wasn't going where I thought I was, it is still a lovely place. She has helped me to let go our my foolish pride, and to have more grace with those around me. What looks like the result of bad parenting in a store, isn't always the result of bad parenting. Sometimes it's important to swallow your pride and ask for help. She has taught me to be less judgmental, and more accepting.

David--I am really not sure exactly what all he is here to show me. He is an amazing guy and everything he does he does with his whole self. His personality is just big and delightful, he is the most outgoing of all my kids, and I just feel like he is going to do something big.

Big bear and little bear (previous foster placement)--These two walked me through the steps of foster parenting, from placement to reunification. The experience worked on my judgmental side (yes I still have too much even after Kennah)--that bio parents aren't necessarily bad people. It taught me how to reach out to those around me and to value others the same way I do my own family. They taught me that with the right environment, there is hope for those that others have deemed hopeless. They taught me to really, really value any quiet moments I could get. They taught me how to love and let go.

Bonus kid 1 & 2--I don't know the full extent of what they are teaching me just yet, but some things I do know--How to fall on my face and cry out to God when I have nothing left and just don't know how to handle a situation or what to do. Many times I am just not big enough or strong enough for what we have had to face along the way with these two, but God is. I have had to rely on Him to get me through many of the things because I just cannot do it myself. They have taught me how to work with people that I never would have had an inkling about how to work with before. They have really stretched what I thought were my limits, emotionally especially. Family is something much more than genetic ties. They (well their situation) have taught me how to handle things with grace and respect even when grace and respect are not deserved. Perseverance again, because it has been a long road. But oh how sweet the ending. I feel like I will keep learning many things from them and their situation along the way. Parenting a foster/adopted child is the same as parenting your own in many ways, but in many ways it is still different even long after the adoption is final.

Addilyn--not sure on her yet but she is a delight.

If you made it through my book, wow! You deserve a star sticker or something. I would love to hear what your children have taught you!

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Old 12-02-2017, 09:53 AM   #2
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Re: What my kids have taught me S/O

I love this! I want to comment but don't have time right now so I'll be back. Thinking about it.
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Old 12-02-2017, 10:25 AM   #3
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Re: What my kids have taught me S/O

Me too!!!! I will come back tonight when I have more time to answer.
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Old 12-02-2017, 12:02 PM   #4
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Re: What my kids have taught me S/O

**CORRECTION** I did a bad typo earlier. Bio parents AREN'T all bad people. I fixed it now but I just wanted to point it out because I don't want anyone to have the wrong idea. Some of them honest-to-goodness just need a little help to get their lives back together.

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Old 12-02-2017, 12:24 PM   #5
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Re: What my kids have taught me S/O

I've thinking about my answers since I read the post.
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Old 12-02-2017, 03:23 PM   #6
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Re: What my kids have taught me S/O

What a cool idea! Let's see if I can manage to get some thoughts down.

Autumn -- Autumn has taught me that just because I can understand what my kids are going through, that doesn't mean that I know how to parent the situation. She had a few rough years that I feel were so incredibly similar to myself at the same age, and while I knew some of what my parents did wasn't great (they really did do their best, though), I didn't necessarily know what to do instead. And that was okay. She helped me learn that it is okay for the parent to admit to the child that they flat out don't know what to do.

Aiden -- He's almost 15, so there really aught to be something concrete to put here, but I don't know. I guess he just really confirmed to me that it is possible to birth someone else's child. lol Seriously, he so should be my brother's son -- for all that he physically looks more like my husband, his mannerisms are so my brother.

Natalie -- She has taught me that when I want to curse someone, I should curse them with a super sensitive, extremely strong willed child. Okay, not really, but she really has been my biggest challenge, though there was a time I thought nothing could be harder than parenting Autumn. She has taught (is teaching) me how much I really need God's wisdom and guidance. This lesson started with Autumn, really, but Natalie and I are so different in some key areas, and I spend a lot of time not knowing what to say/do, or when to say/do it. She has been instrumental in teaching me the value of apologies.
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Old 12-02-2017, 04:13 PM   #7
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Re: What my kids have taught me S/O

DS1 has taught me selflessness. No matter how much DH and I think his bio mom is a pathetic excuse of a parent she is his mom and he loves her and deserves time with her. So no matter how much it hurts our pride to send him there for school breaks because we don't think she has earned it or doesn't deserve it, he deserves it. Their relationship isn't about us and our feelings toward her. It's about him. Being a step mom has taught me a million things but putting aside our differences was/still is probably the hardest to swallow.

The 2 littles are currently teaching me patience. Also, how truly different 2 children can be. They are total opposites and it blows my mind sometimes.

Oh, DS1 has also taught me individuality. I need to let him be who he wants to be and not who I think he should be.
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Old 12-02-2017, 06:18 PM   #8
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Re: What my kids have taught me S/O

Okay, here goes:

Adam (12) is such a tender-hearted boy, he wants to do what is right but struggles with self-control (as we all do, I suspect). I have learned from him to look past what he is doing to why he is doing it and even more to try to look at the big picture (who he really is) and not get so stressed out about the little things (what he does). He is our guinea pig child, poor boy, but he is such a good kid anyway...I have learned a lot about grace from him, about how resilient children are and how much God makes up for flawed parenting if we just trust Him and keep trying. I am trying to learn how to speak carefully, to build him up with my words rather than tear him down, as he is very sensitive to what I say and how I say it. Also to let him be in charge of his own responsibilities (homework and grades particularly) because I can't make him do things, try as I might, but there are consequences and he is capable of learning from them.

Joshua (10) I have learned so much from my mistakes with him. I'm learning to work with his extremely strong-willed personality rather than trying to oppose it. I've learned that even super smart kids have their things they struggle with, and that there are no quick fixes, there are going to be things that you just have to put the time in for a long time before they get better, and it's okay. He is such a quiet, undemanding child, so different from his siblings in that way, and he doesn't ask for attention, but he needs it anyway, and it's up to me to give it without being asked. Also - to trust God with my children, because there is absolutely no way I can protect them from everything. I do the best I can, but I don't have to do it alone, and I CAN'T do it alone.

Janie (8) is just like me in lots of ways, and we butt heads a lot. From her I have learned to pick my battles, and if it really doesn't matter, to let it go. Also, to humble myself and accept counsel from an 8-year-old, because she's often right. And not to let her take too much responsibility on herself, because it does overwhelm her, though she would like to take care of everyone. And to control my temper. Lots of lessons from this one!

Ella (5) is such a sweet, loving child, except when she is tired. When she was born I had an epiphany - that pushing kids to excel/move quickly academically didn't actually accomplish anything, and they all get to the same place eventually, and I don't need to be in a hurry with my children's accomplishments. She has taught me to be more laid-back as a mother. She is a perfectionist and I am learning to work with instead of against that. Also, one-on-one time makes all the difference for a tired, grumpy 5-year-old.

Rebecca (2) is teaching me to slow down and enjoy the moments. Also that a quiet toddler is a dangerous thing. (I keep learning this lesson.) She is so sweet and loving to everyone, I want to be like her when I grow up.

Faith (4 mos) is also teaching me to slow down and not try to do so much that it stresses all of us out. I am still getting to know this one but she is such a sweet, happy baby, I feel very blessed to have her.

Still working on internalizing ALL of these lessons, but I am so grateful for the person my children are helping me become! Maybe someday I'll actually get there! I love what K said about learning unselfishness ("it's not about me") - parenting (as a whole) is definitely teaching me that!
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