Wednesday, March 24, 2010
God Didn't Ferberize Me!
I have mentioned many times that God is my author/teacher/parent hero because he is the ultimate clinician in each of these practices as well as every other. In this post I will be focusing on God as a parent. Just because of who he is I know he is the epitome of perfection in parenting, so from the very beginning of my parenting experience, I have paused in perplexing moments and asked myself, "How does God parent me in similar instances?"Because whether we want to admit it or not there is nothing our children can do that isn't something for which a "similar instance" for comparison doesn't exist;) Yes, I am admitting that at times I behave as if I am no more spiritually mature than a 3-year-old, so my experience with God's handling of my behavior becomes a reference point as I raise my daughter on many occassions. One such occassion leads me to explain to you why my ever-growing 3-year-old daughter shares a bed with her parents in spite of the blatant disapproval of her pediatrician and many others. Lili slept in her crib long past the whole SIDS risk had been outgrown, but at 10 months after just that many nights of getting up 15-20 times a night to nurse her back to sleep, I decided I wanted to get some rest, so I called up Dr. Bob, Lili's very experienced and highly recommended pediatrician to inquire how I should go about addressing the issue at which time I was given a thourough explanation of the Ferber Method. A method I had refused to even consider in the past but was ready to try in the present, but after enduring the motherly turmoil of hearing her baby cry and not being able to respond for a day and a half, I threw in the towel admitting that I could already see it working but denying sleep was worth the cost of training my child like a dog that she couldn't trust me to come when she called, so she might as well shut-up and go back to sleep! This brought me to one of those earlier mentioned moments of perplextion, and I got to thinking that God had never done that to me, so I followed my heart, ran to my child the next time she cried out to me apologizing for being such a dim-wit of a momma, and carried her to a place of love and comfort until the night had passed...just like my Heavenly Daddy does for me when I cry out to him! Ever since my Lili Rose has been welcome to rest in that place until the day she chooses to sleep in her own bed...even if it takes a little bribery...I slept with my parents until the 2nd grade according to my baby book, and I clearly remember my father offering me $1 for every night I made it in my own bed. I was ready at that point, so the offer was all it took to tearlessly break me of what many consider a bad habit...as if looking to your parents for comfort and security should ever be considered a bad habit! I want to clarify that I am not trying to make anyone who has successfully or unsuccessfully used the Ferber Method feel like a bad parent. We do the best we can with what we've got, and this is simply a description of what that looked like in a specific scenario for me, and once again, we lack the perfection that God possesses, so even if we were to look to his example in every situation, we would be sure to fail in one way or another...the great thing is our inperfection is known and supplied for by him and any scars we leave in our children's hearts by our mistakes, he can heal! Another disclaimer is required here....I'm soooo not saying to parent willy-nilly since God is able to clean up your mess!...Just do your best and don't stress too much when you mess up because he's got your back, and if your not sure he does, tell him you want a relationship with him through the forgiveness Jesus (who you believe in and trust) offered you by paying the punishment for your sins on the cross, and start living with Jesus as the Lord of your life right now...for instructions on how to go about that, read the Bible;) By the way, Jesus set a Biblical example of following such a decision with a swim better known as baptism by emersion, so CANON BALL! Love you all and sweet dreams, say your prayers, and don't let the bed bugs bite...night-night;)