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Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star

Joy in the journey-reeling it back in

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Before my wife and I started down the road of being parents to our daughter Journey, we were first pet parents. Owning pets can be a pretty good litmus test to see if you are ready to actually have children. I don’t know that I can honestly say anyone is ever actually “ready” to have children, but I know that it always happens at the right time.
One of our pets is a cute little yorkie named King. To get straight to the point, we should have had him formally trained, but he’s just too cute and innocent looking. Do you know what untrained, cute, and innocent gets you? An undisciplined little yorkie name King who pretty much does whatever he wants when he wants leaving his owners to constantly walk around cleaning up his mess and sometimes discovering dog pee or poop in a corner. This was an immediate lesson in parenting letting me know first hand that if I wait to “train” Journey then we might have problems on our hands. She needs to be educated, corrected, and prompted to grow in areas of life skills, health, safety, and matters of the heart. If we don’t start now, eventually it will be too late and when she is older, we as her parents will be constantly chasing behind her cleaning up her messes.
As cute and adorable as my daughter is, I love her too much to not start her out right now at the tender age of 15 months on the right path. It’s important for me to remember that when it comes to parenting, I want to begin as intend to go. Before Journey started walking, training and discipline weren’t really big deals. However, now that she is walking, we have to put up boundaries around certain areas of house. We restrict access to rooms and access to items we don’t want to accidentally get broken as Journey explores her environment. But there is still more to be done in the realm of discipline and training, and frankly my wife and I have been a little slow in doing it. So lately Journey has been given a few too many freedoms and we need to reel it back a little. Here is a little gold nugget I read the other day in preparation for the toddler years:
1. Freedoms greater than self control = Developmental confusion
2. Freedoms less than self-control = Developmental frustration
3. Freedoms equal to self control = Developmental harmony
So what does this look like in the big picture. If Journey is allowed to wander around the house as she pleases, touching and picking up whatever she wants whenever she wants without self control then this leads to freedoms that are too advanced for her age. Thus far we have not been putting any boundaries in place or correcting her when she has gotten of the path. Mainly because she is 15 months old and just so cute. But guess what happens when she is 3 years old walking in Walmart or H.E.B. with her parents. She will be running and grabbing and picking up whatever she pleases. The same scenario can be foreseen in visiting another person’s home. I don’t want to lose the joy of visiting with friends or enjoying my child by having to chase her around yelling “no” constantly. Now is the time to start implementing these principles, not later.
Journey sleeps 12 hours through the night and she has been doing this since she was six months old. She takes a nap daily anywhere from 1 and a half hours to 3 hours. Right now she can sit and play in her play pen alone for 30 minutes without making a fuss. This didn’t happen by chance. It was training and staying consistent with structure, encouragement, and correction. The same principles apply now as we move forward to promote good behavior and healthy boundaries. I thank my cute little yorkie for the parenting lesson.
Jonathan Oliver is an experienced motivational speaker, life coach, and author. He is the CEO of his company Higher Enlightenment which strives to create a world of truth, love, and faith. He was born and raised in Texas and now lives with his wife and their first child Journey in Owasso, OK. He is a first time stay at home dad. His contact information is onwww.higherenlightenment.comand follow him on facebook


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