What is your parenting style and why?
I need to admit that my husband and I have never read a parenting book or taken a parenting class but we both have wonderful parents who were great examples for us. Of course, we had our own ideas about the kind of parents we would be. When I was 21 years old, I wrote a page in my journal about raising children:
-I will let them make choices
-I will honor their decisions
-I will let them say "No"
-We will have fun together
Although I haven't followed every piece of advice from my 21 year old self, there were a few words of wisdom in that list. We have always tried to trust our children to make good choices. For example, from the time they were very young, we never felt the need to hide the sweets in the house and they have never overindulged in sweets. The Halloween candy usually sits in the cupboard so long that we end up throwing it out. We have found that when we utilize quiet moments and really talk with or observe our kids, it's pretty easy to tell if something is bothering them or if they've done something wrong. Some of the sweetest moments we've had are when we tell them what we've noticed and we talk about mistakes and what they can do to be a better person. These moments don't always come easily though. At times we've even had to take a child to their favorite restaurant to get them to talk to us, but it's always worth the effort.
What have been some hard times and what are some tips for keeping strong through those times?
About half way through my pregnancy with our 3rd child, we found out that he had spina bifida, hydrocephalus, and club feet. The lesion in his spinal cord was so high that the doctors thought he may not be able to breathe on his own or survive beyond birth. My husband and I were most worried about how this would affect our two other children. I remember feeling that this was too much for our family. After many days of constant prayer and sleepless nights, we decided to tell our two children. We explained their little brother's situation and then our 4 year old daughter took my hand and said, "Don't worry Mommy. We'll help him and he'll be fine. But I still wish he was a girl." Our 7 year old son shed some tears, not because his brother would be disabled but because he simply wanted him to live. During this time a scripture came to my mind from Psalms 46:10, "Be still and know that I am God". I felt a calm assurance that everything was in our Heavenly Father's hands and with His help we could accomplish anything.
Any tips for keeping a close-knit family?
We love spending time together away from life's distractions. We have found that when it comes to spending time together, quantity is just as important as quality. We try to plan something for every school break or day off, even if it's just a family outing to explore a park we haven't seen before. Wherever we go, we always try to find a quiet, out of the way place to stay because our favorite moments are usually not the sightseeing or the swimming, but the evenings without computers or video games when we play board games, watch a movie together or just hang out.
Thank you Young family for sharing the things that are important and sacred to you.
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