Updated: May 3, 2019
Albert Einstein is widely credited with saying "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results." This same principle can be applied to parenting. My husband and I have 2 biological kids (Bella and Hudson) and 2 Adopted kids (Nate and Charlotte). I thought hey, I am not a newbie parent, I will be fine but going from 2 to 4 kids made me go plum crazy. I didn't go insane because of the kids being loud, messy or because I was out numbered. I went crazy because of how I was parenting. I was parenting each kid the same way. I was talking and not listening. I had yet to learn each of their love languages and communication styles. Effective communication is a two way information sharing process which involves one party sending a message that is easily understood by the receiving party. As we grow up, I think us as parents forget that information doesn't happen by osmosis. Just because we are with them a lot doesn't mean they have the same knowledge or understanding as we do. I kept talking and lecturing my kids the same way over and over again without seeing any results. It took several reality checks and many nights of frustrated crying.
After reading ... Boundaries with Kids, Love Languages, Everyone Always... I finally realized I must love and communicate with the thought of how it will be received to them as individuals. "Loving people means caring for people without an agenda. As soon as we have an agenda, it's not love anymore" - Bob Goff. I wasn't being genuine and authentic as a mother, wife and christian. I was showing love to control them to get them to behave right and was going crazy because the results weren't what "I" thought they should be.
I blame the kids for making me lose my mind, but in reality, I was the one banging my head against a closed door. So many times as parent's we act like a toddler banging and screen at the door of our kid's heart. We think if we are forceful enough, strict enough the door will fly open. At the other spectrum sometimes we think if we are sensitive and compliant enough the door to their heart will open that way too. The reality of that last part is sure, the door open, the the kids come out, but we aren't invited in. This is not trust and respect, it's lazy parenting.
Parenting is about finding balance and the right key. Stop banging on the door and stop bribing!! They are the kids, we are the parents. We have the key ring!! Each of our kids are unique just like a set of keys. We have to learn and understand their personalities, love languages and communications styles.
I am still absolutely CRAZY, but by God's grace and mercy I am no longer INSANE.