I read this book by Dr Ross Campbell while I was on an annual course. I was swept away by his words of wisdom and practical advices to struggling parents like me.
We are expecting baby no 7 by month end but that is never a guarantee that we’ve gotten everything right when it comes to parenting. It is first and foremost the greatest lesson in love for me and the Captain. It is an evolving, adaptive process where our ultimate dream is to make our children as holy as they can be. Unknowingly and not admittedly at times, our kids are actually the ones bringing us closer to God.
I’ve taken down some notes from this spectacular book which I jotted down below.
I assure you, it is better if you get a copy, devour it and keep it for life.
1. Every child needs sufficient physical affection. Hugs, kisses, caresses, back rub, massages. I noticed this need easily in my children. The moment some of them wake up, they instantly go near me for a hug.
Some of them rub their heads to my arms. Clue that they want some motherly love.
2. Every child needs enough eye contact. In a family with many kids, it is difficult to focus on one child trying to tell me the highlight of his day when an urgent need arises. Urgent needs like a toddler screaming to get mom to wipe his bottom, a baby who is on the loose and about to fall over a chair, two boys trying to rip open each other’s heads.
It is hard but possible. I’ve chosen the dinner table as one of the best places to connect via eye contact. Every child gets to have her time of glory to talk and mommy will listened as if it was only the two of us in that room.
Of course there are many down times too when the smaller ones are napping or we are having quiet time. I usually pull one child so I can spend that special time with him or her.
3. Undivided attention. Where in the world will you find time to give each and every child focused attention?
The Captain is very good with this. He either bring one of them for a bike ride, grocery trip, or lunch at McDonalds.
I go out for a walk or coffee with anyone of them whom I felt didn’t spend enough time with me that week.
Giving a bath, baking, painting with them are means and ways of spending one on one time.
You will realize that your time multiplies with the number of children God gives you.
4. Punishment is different from discipline. Hardly any child benefit from physical punishment. Disciplining them requires patiently instructing them in ways they should and ought to behave. It will take years to raise a child to become mature, responsible and loving.
I would like to end with the best thing I learned from the book. Every child needs to be love and they need it unconditionally. While it is easier to like children who are obliging, nice and kind, that is not an excuse to not love our more challenging children any less.
Those who need most love deserve it the least.
Parenting after all is a matter of charity.
Do I see Christ in my children? Or do I just want them to do whatever I want because I am their mother and I am already fed up with all the noise and chaos?
Am I the kind of person my children would like to hang up with for the rest of their lives? Or does my temper and impatience drive them away?
Do I teach them to love unconditionally by my example?
I had to face many issues while reading this book and I continue to face new ones. The important thing is that we have tools now to help us and invaluable advices to become the best parents that we can be.
Let’s seize the day.