I couldn't sleep last night and I got to thinking about my daughter and my parenting "style". Things that were going through my mind were, "Am I strict enough?", "Am I too strict?", "Is she going to turn out ok?", "Did I even turn out ok?".
Being with your family almost 24/7 like ours is can really bring out the best and worst in a person. I've come to realize that I'm not nearly as patient as I should be. I don't always want to put my husband and my daughter first as I ought to. And I could go on and on, but that's not my point. My point is, do I blame my parents for things in my life that need to change? No! I've been responsible for my actions for a long time now. To a point, there was only so much they could do and then I had to take over for myself.
So where does that put me with my daughter? It certainly doesn't let me off the hook. In fact, when I look at it that way, it makes me feel as though I have to work even harder to teach her what is right because I only have a short amount of time.
That leads me to my next question. What should I be focusing on with her? She is only 14 months, so for the time being there is pretty much one main idea: to obey without question. I know that this is something that if she can grasp it, it will help her a lot in life. How many times do I get myself into a lot of pain and trouble when I don't obey the legitimate authorities in my life? How many of us get ourselves into trouble when we don't obey God?
I was also thinking last night about how much I love watching my daughter explore and discover things. Watching her face light up when she sees something new that delights her brings me so much joy! Honestly, I really love taking her down the toy aisle in a store and watching her happily pick up one thing after the next. Thankfully, she has not yet realized that Mommy and Daddy have the power to take these things with them so there is never a struggle to put anything back. But then I got to thinking, is this kind of behavior ok? Is it ok to let my child have a modicum of freedom in a public place? Well, on one condition, that she obeys us immeadiately when we tell her to come to us or not to touch something. And that brings me back to my main parenting objective, obedience. Teaching my daughter to obey makes her life, my life and the lives of those around us happier and richer. Obedience = Freedom!