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 Help parenting a 4 year old.
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brianna.e
True Blue Farmgirl

52 Posts

Brianna
Gladstone Michigan
USA
52 Posts

Posted - Oct 15 2016 :  5:20:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Today I was at a birthday party for a girl in my daughter's pre-school. I sat at the table with other women (and a few men) with a cup of coffee in my hand, listening to their stories about their children and their lives and it hit me that I have no idea what I am doing.

I never had a role model mother growing up. I'm a Pastor's daughter and my mother was...difficult. That is the kindest term I can think for her. She was very angry, miserable, and fearful and she verbally abused me for years. As the oldest, I was so scared that my other siblings would get the same treatment, so I would often cover for them to try to protect them from the volcano that was our mother. I learned nothing from my mother besides some very bad ways of thinking and acting. But because she was the wife of a pastor, she hid the abuse. Masked it behind smiles and bible studies. I am 27 and still dealing with anxiety and panic disorders because of her treatment.

Now I have a daughter of my own, and I am a single mother at that. I've never been married, so it has always just been the two of us for the last four years. I think, in general, I am doing a good job with her! She is happy, healthy, and loves to read. I made a point to treat her as I wanted to be treated as a child and I think that is working, but listening to this folks made me realize that I have zero understanding about specific points when it comes to children.

I don't know what to do when they are sick. I don't know how to braid hair or do make up. I don't know how to be around 15 kids at a time without wanting to stand on a chair and shoo them away with a broom (a bit extreme, but you get it!)

I wonder if I am missing something because I never learned it. The things mothers are supposed to teach daughters isn't there. It's a blank book for me.

Do any of you have any tips for parenting a small girl who is brilliant, independent, and creative? I know everyone parents differently, but I think some tips are pretty universal (I hope!) and I could sure use the community advice!

Ninibini
True Blue Farmgirl

7069 Posts

Nini
Pennsylvania
USA
7069 Posts

Posted - Oct 15 2016 :  6:39:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oh, Brianna... Deep breath, girl.. Exhale slowly... I think you're tackling this perfectly, sparking her interest in discovery through living and reading, and treating her as you would want to be treated. My husband's aunt told me a long time ago to follow my heart and shower my child with love and I would never go wrong. She was absolutely right, so I am saying the same to you! But it sounds like you've already got all of that covered. God bless you!

When my son was born, I felt extremely inept. My mother came out to stay for a few days and help, but had to leave shortly thereafter to be wit my sister for her son's birth. I never felt so vulnerable and inadequate in all of my life. Thankfully, God, in His infinite wisdom, gave mother's a special heart that somehow "knows" what our children need and how to care for them. He also provided wonderful people like Dr. Spock (not to be confused with Mr. Spock from the Starship Enterprise! LOL!), and a whole host of others. And we are living in this wonderful time of technological advancement where you get to reach out to your wonderful farmgirl sisters for advice and guidance - and trust me, as I'm sure you already know, our farmgirl sisters are there for us on every level! And then with things like braiding hair or party planning or decorating her room, you've got YouTube to surf for the answers. You can find out about almost anything out there on the web, so don't worry, you're going to be fine. It sounds like you may have gotten the double dose of the "Mommy gene" and mother's heart which your own mother was sorrowfully lacking. You're going to be fine because you love your daughter, and you're willing to ask to find out what you need to know so that you can do your best by her. Don't you worry one bit!! Don't beat yourself up - even those people sitting around the table who seemed to know so much had to start somewhere!

What types of parenting tips are you looking for, exactly? That would be a lot easier to start there, okay? Other than what you're already doing, I would say the most important thing to do for any child is to teach them about God, who they are to Him and in Him, and to bestow upon them the gift of faith. If you have little to none of that yourself, especially because of your mother and how her actions gave you all the wrong messages about God and being a child of God, that's okay. Maybe this is something you can explore and learn together! I am excited about what that journey will mean for both of you!

Hugs and love -

Nini



Farmgirl Sister #1974

God gave us two hands... one to help ourselves, and one to help others!

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texdane
Farmgirl Legend Chapter Leader Chapter Guru

4382 Posts

Nicole
Sandy Hook CT
USA
4382 Posts

Posted - Oct 17 2016 :  05:43:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oh sweetie. You are doing it right. Your love and concern show through in the fact that you will not treat your daughter the way you were treated. She sounds like a wonderful, happy little girl, who will grow to be your best friend. None of us "know" what we are doing... they don't come with a manual! Love her and make her your world, which sounds like what you are doing.

Farmgirl Hugs,
Nicole

Farmgirl Sister #1155
KNITTER, JAM-MAKER AND MOM EXTRAORDINAIRE
Chapter Leader, Connecticut Simpler Life Sisters
Farmgirl of the Month, January 2013

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