What if I walked out to my back yard and planted a kernel of corn? Then, the same afternoon, went to check on it, and the kernel had not turned into corn on the cob yet? Would I be disappointed? Certainly not. Each time I passed by the little spot where I planted the piece of grain, I would become excited and look forward to each stage of development in the life of the corn plant.
Why then, as parents, do we come home with a kernel of wisdom and expect the full fruit to happen that very day? The answer is simple enough. We care a lot, we have invested a lot, and we are often desperate for a change. We have all felt this desperation in one form or another. This desperation comes from our circumstances and from our love.
What I am about to say will be contrary to advertising, and even the very way we live. No program, even the Teaching Self-Government program, is going to fix all your problems the first day, the first week, or even the first month. It just won't. The harder the behaviors you are working with, the longer it could take.
I receive so many emails telling me how grateful people are for the Teaching Self-Government principles and skills. It is so fun to hear of initial success stories.
Almost as soon as people start having effective meetings and learning the four basic skills, they find some success. This is the sign of a good seed. The Self-Government seed has been planted and is beginning to germinate and grow in the hearts of the family, but it hasn't taken root yet.
For a seed to take root, you need to nourish it and always be aware that it is there. Keep weeds out of the family, which are things that distract the family from their vision. I discuss these things in detail in chapter 3 of Parenting A House United.
Give the seed light and nutrients, which are truth, praise, and skills. Make sure the ground is good. This means to have a firm structure in the home which supports the growing seed and keeps it from danger.
After you recognize the seed as good and nourish it, it will take root. After it takes root, you tend it and train it up properly. Point it toward the light, which is goodness and wholesomeness.
Training up a seed takes patience, and consistency. Once you put the seed in the ground, you would never run back to the yard an pluck it up because it wasn't growing fast enough. You would wait it out and nourish it. You would check the soil for stones and weeds. You would check the temperature of the growing conditions. This temperature is like the climate, or tone, of your home. To sum up, you would keep nurturing, and wait for the natural change which is bound to happen as you subscribe to good, true principles. You would trust the process.
We must do the same with parenting. Once we start working on the environment for our family happiness, we cannot become impatient. We need to consistently nourish the family and have trust, or patience, that the process will help teach what it is supposed to. Accept that the learning will take time and will be hard sometimes.
People want quick fixes. Parenting isn't a sprint toward a quick fix. It is a journey paved with learning, self-government, and deliberate love and action. There could still be more to learn about self-government and parenting.
Nicholeen's Parenting Blog http://teachingselfgovernment.com
Nicholeen's Book Parenting A House United http://teachingselfgovernment.com/catalog/products-