It’s Never Too Late

compass

I was starting to feel better this week, so I thought I’d give some reader-requested advice on toddler discipline.

Then we had a few bad days, and suddenly everything was my husband’s fault and my mother’s fault, and the fault of anyone who loves me enough to invest in my family.

It still scares me how quickly I can go from feeling okay – or even great – to plummeting into resentment and guilt.

As I vacuumed the kids’ room, grumbling about how my kids have not been trained properly to help out and even pick up after themselves, I remembered this important fact:

IT IS NEVER TOO LATE

It might be too late to do things early, or do it right the first time, but it’s never too late to change direction.

CHANGE IS POSSIBLE.

It might not be easy, but our actions got us here and our actions can change the course we’re on.

I’m a little obsessed with trying new systems and ideas, so I’ve had lots of chances to see how children (and husbands) resist change fairly strongly at the beginning.

It’s discouraging, but if I push through with a positive attitude, it’s often a matter of days (or sometimes weeks) before it becomes the new normal.

That doesn’t mean the end of complaining – we’re human, after all – but the first few attempts are always bad and require keeping a longer-term perspective to get through.

The trick is to pick one thing to fix and work on it consistently.  I tend to get fed up and want to change everything at once. Obviously, disasters ensues . . .

It’s also important to pay attention to the feedback. I’d estimate that only two out of every ten “brilliant” ideas I have actually have the intended positive results.

Don’t beat yourself up about a good idea gone wrong, just drop it or adjust it and try again.

Last week I added a large table to the living room so the kids could have more drawing space, then created a new reading nook next to it with the bean bag.

Instead of drawing and reading the kids run and jump. (At least they keep the table clear!)

Sometimes good ideas gone wrong have unexpected fruits, like kids getting exercise in the reading nook.

(For the record, a few days later I did catch them reading in the reading nook.)

So here’s some encouragement to us all to not let all our troubles overwhelm us, but to take the next step to make our family life a little better.

Don’t forget to celebrate your success. I know I tend to think about what still needs improvement and forget to enjoy the progress we’ve made.

Remember, you’re the leader and it’s never too late!

5 thoughts on “It’s Never Too Late”

  1. Great timing, Sis! This echoes what my husband just reminded me of this morning – don’t give up too soon, you (I) have good ideas!

    Recently, I read an article on how sleep deprivation can cause behavior problems [that’s almost a “duh” moment, but they were talking about small amounts over time creating the deprivation, not an obvious one-time late/bad night], but how it’s never too late to correct it by ensuring your child gets the correct amount of sleep.

    1. Your child — and you! Very hard for moms! And for anyone with more to do than time to do it in. But “never too late” seems to work even at my age. I’m finally paying serious attention to getting to bed on time, and it makes a big difference in my own behavior. 🙂

    2. I love how even when I feel unable to share anything of worth it can still be encouraging.

      I like your point about sleep being a problem for kids. I think we might be seeing that in one of ours who recently dropped naps.

    3. Sounds normal for young growing families!!
      I always found that flexibility was my best attribute when raising our young family! Not the zumba or Fitness Guru type but the kind that allows you to laugh at a life bump and turn it into a group learning experience!! When in doubt … laugh and look at the bigger picture! Love you Janet/Heather/Linda and of course your lovely husbands and amazing children! <3
      In HIM
      Aunt Pami or in the Linda case
      Pami

      1. How do you DO that? I’m so terrible at laughing when it’s something due to childish behavior. Outside circumstances are okay. Hm, I see laughing doesn’t mean you laugh it off – you still turn it into a learning experience, but I bet since you’ve let off the pressure the kids actually listen to you. When I speak out of frustration I’m sure they’re only thinking “when will Mommy calm down.”

        Thanks for the encouragement!

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