Hydrangea Blue asked the following questions:
Yay! Here are my 3 questions:1. Have you ever consider writing a book about your testimony?
At one point I wrote my autobiography, at the time when books about incest survivors was rampant. I actually got back two personal letters from editors and an author, but the market was saturated. When I first met Pastor Don, I gave him the only copy of it and he read some. It is still in his office, but it would not be the message I would want to write about now. I have considered writing a book, and probably will do so, but I still have some growing to do spiritually first. I could share now, but I think God is wanting me to wait a bit until a few more pockets of pain have been dealt with.
2. Do your children read your Xanga?
If they ever wanted to read my Xanga they could. I do not hide anything I write or share from my husband or kids, but mostly they do not want to do read it. I guess Bible studies are not so interesting to them. More fun to chat with their friends and IM. They do know a bit about my past, but not all the gory details. Some days when they are complaining about the misery of their lives (usually in conjunction with being bored and we parents are not responding to their desire to be taken somewhere, or we have told them that they cannot do something), I have told them that they do not know what real misery is. Mostly I have shared a bit of what it is like to be living with alcoholic parents, and the fear that I experienced, the bruises up and down my arm, and being hurt far too often. But they roll their eyes, and figure that they have it worse. I have not shared the sexual abuse or some of my reactions to the abuse. I would do it in an instant if it would help them to prevent making some of the same mistakes I have, but they seem to have no inkling to make those mistakes. I would answer honestly if they asked, but they haven’t asked. So it is kind of like a need-to-know basis.
3. In my opinion, it’s getting extremely difficult to bring up godly children, especially girls in the United States. (My fiance and I joked about having boys only. Seriously.) Your teenage children seem pretty OK. How do you do that?
That was one question Pastor Don asked me when we first started talking. I told him that in dealing with my kids I usually thought about what my parents would do and did the opposite. I am blessed with three good and intelligent and fun kids. My husband and I work together raising them. I seem to be the stricter one and he is more their friend, but together we work well. We started early with our kids, not talking baby talk, not allowing certain things, even though they might look cute. We expected them to behave, to obey, and to be nice. They got more punishment for hurting another or being disrespectful. Punishment for them usually meant time out because for them that was a fate worse than death – they hated having to sit still when the others were having fun. Oh, and church is not an option, it is required.
Regarding school we expected them to do their homework and be respectful for teachers, again punishment was more for being disrespectful than for a bad grade. I have explained to them that if they have been trying and get a bad grade we can get them help, but there is no excuse for being disrespectful. They have had to write letters of apology and apologize in person to teachers if a comment is made about disrespect.
The standards have remained constant, and to be honest, teenage years are tough. They are trying out their limits and I really haven’t a clue what “normal” teenage years are like, so I rely on my husband to keep me in check if I am being too demanding. I think that they, because they have limits set early on, just stick with them.
Now my husband and I spend a lot of time explaining things – simple things like, if you treat a person with respect they will treat you with respect. And when they do so and get a response they like, we complement them and let them see that their behavior is what caused the good thing.
Regarding sex and drugs, from early on certain things have been explained. Things like don’t take candy from strangers, don’t take pills given to you by anyone other than us. They saw their grandfather die from smoking and that made a big impact so they do not smoke. In tiny sound bites, during car rides (individually) we have talked about sex – basic concepts like men marry girls, etc. We also talk about marriage being forever, and STD’s. Regarding drugs and sex they roll their eyes, but I use the Russian Roulette idea – that maybe their friends could have 100 good experiences, but it takes only one to kill you – and there is no guarantee when that one will come.
I do try to get them out individually and in the course of doing something drop what I term a “sound bite” a tiny bit of a teaching, not a long lecture. Seems to get through more.
I am not a perfect parent, and I repent of mistakes often, but my kids are good and I make sure to complement them a lot, emphasize the positive, apologize when I make a mistake, and let them know when others complement them to me. I know that they know that they are loved and that their dad and I will be there for them, love them passionately, and will stick up for them. They also are blessed in having two parents who love them when many of their friends are children of divorce and unstable relationships.
I am still learning how to be a good parent, and Christianity helps a lot. I spend time in prayer for them. One of my favorite places to pray for them is folding their clothes when I do the wash. The other day I went with my anointing oil and prayed over their rooms.
More and more I need God’s help in parenting. I can’t believe I tried to do it without God.
Can I ask more questions? I love questions, they stimulate me to think and process things. If you have more questions, please feel free.
Have a blessed weekend,
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