Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Adaptation is a Natural Parenting Law

I was reminded of a natural law recently. It seems to keep showing up in my life. Here are a few examples:

You have to switch out your shampoo every so often because it stops working if you use the same brand all the time.

You have to rotate what crops you plant in your garden or the soil in one area will get depleted from growing the same thing all the time.

You can't take too many antibiotics or they will lose their effectiveness over time.

This natural law can be called the Law of Change, the Law of Adaptation, or the Law of What the Heck, This Used to Work, What Do I Do NOW!!

This law is very prevalent in parenting. Things that used to work with our kids, don't work anymore. Systems that used to be very effective, lose their effectiveness over time. Strategies that we used to be able to rely on, fail us with increasing regularity. It is easy to think that we are bad parents or we aren't consistent when this happens but it just isn't true!

I have come to realize that this is just a natural law. You have to shake it up sometimes. You have to try something new. Nothing works for too long-- not shampoo, not antibiotics, not time out, not chore charts, not counting to 3, not __________ you fill in the blank!

Don't beat yourself up because your formerly effective discipline system isn't working. It is okay. God built this need for change into our world somehow.

I remember talking with the daughter of one of the most effective Moms I know. She was teasing her mother about the fact that every year she would introduce some new system or chart for the family to try. This girl and her siblings would gather around the fridge to see what new thing Mom had posted and take bets on how long the new program would last!

I was thrilled to know that I wasn't the only one. Moms everywhere take heart and keep trying. Try something different. Use that for a few weeks or months and be prepared to change it up in the future and try something new.

We only fail when we keep trying.

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