I’d like to start off and tell you a little more about Baby Girl. She will be 3 next month. She has been potty trained since 2 , had maybe 4 accidents ever, and was potty trained in 3 days. She can set her own table for meal times, pour her own drink, and clean up after herself. She has a very good vocabulary and is very loving, strong, determined, and very compassionate. She doesn’t like seeing anyone sad. She can brush her own teeth, pick up her toys, dress herself, and make her bed with little help. OK, so why am I telling you all this? You must be thinking by now, wow, is she bragging! No, I’m not bragging, I promise. I am telling you this, because there are days, I barely acknowledge that she did any of these things. I have more lately, because I am trying a lot harder, but there have been moments where I didn’t. What I did mention was how she spilled her water again because she won’t sit still…and I remembered to mention that she didn’t eat all her food and I also had to remind her that while she dressed herself she forgot to put her clothes in her hamper.

building blocks on floorMy name is Krystal, I am guilty of being a negative Nancy. To be fair, I grew up with similar upbringing in the sense that my parents, especially my dad had very high expectations of us and there were moments we didn’t quite feel we ever reached them. I love my dad dearly and I wouldn’t have him any other way, but part of being a parent now, is learning from the mistakes your parents made then. This is one thing that I am seeing I am passing down and it’s not something I want to continue. I’ve had many conversations with my husband about how to fix this because I do not want my daughter to feel that she is not good enough, a trap I tend to fall into even with my own husband. Bless his heart, he helps me in the kitchen and does the dishes every night. The old me would have said “You made a big mess, there’s water everywhere!” Not nice, and not effective. The new and better me says “Thanks for washing the dishes tonight. I appreciate you.” End of story. While my husband is a grown adult, and can take me being negative from time to time, my daughter does not know the difference. She is learning from what I tell her.

Mormon Mother and son talkingConfession time. Want to know my biggest fear with my kids? My biggest fear is that my daughter will not feel good about herself on my account. That scares me more than any accident, any bump or bruise. I don’t want to break my daughter’s spirit. I am afraid by focusing on the negative I will miss out on all the positive, wonderful, beautiful qualities she has and therefore, she also will not see those qualities she possesses. I have seen this pattern of negativity happen in marriages, friendships, all forms of relationships, and even with myself. I focus on everything I’m doing wrong, instead of what I’m doing right. Those qualities I listed in the beginning..those accomplishments and milestones Baby Girl has reached..she didn’t reach them by magic. Somewhere, she must have had a mother or a father or both that guided her and taught her, right? I guess that means me and Yes, that person is you. It’s so easy to overlook this. I do it all the time, but every once in awhile, Heavenly Father reminds me, I am doing the best I can, and Baby Girl’s compassion, her spunk, is a reflection on me, and what I am teaching her. Everything we do, everything we don’t do, everything we say, and everything we don’t say filters down to our children and ultimately makes them who they are. I have heard the quote that says something along the lines of how you speak to your children becomes their inner voice. This is a scary thought for me because I do not always have the best way of getting things across. But hearing that and reminding myself is motivation to be better.

Negativity is poisonSo, how can we stop focusing on the negative and be more positive? Let it go. So, your child didn’t do it the “right way.” What is the right way anyway? Does it matter? Not really. What matters is the effort. So what if they made a mess? They tried. There have been times where I am frustrated Baby Girl won’t nap, and I go upstairs to “lay down the law” and I walk in, and she has built a block tower she made “special for me” So, she didn’t nap. The old me could holler and yell for playing instead of napping, or, I can focus on what she did, and thank her for the beautiful tower she made me and either try to lay her down again, or get down and play with her and LET IT GO. My favorite quote (I know I’m just full of them) is from Glennon Melton, a fellow mommy blogger who said,

“Don’t let yourself become so concerned with raising a good kid, that you forget you already have one.”

That is so me. I do have a good kid. She’s an awesome kid! She is my biggest challenge to date, yet my biggest blessing I could ever want or have. If I could sit and write a list, I could go on forever at how amazing she is. I really and truly am blessed. I talk a lot about the hardships of being a parent and while they are all true, I am afraid you might think I don’t enjoy being a parent. I really do. When I can let go of the negative, and let go of all the things Satan puts in my way, I can see the good. The good is always there, we just need to learn how to see it. In my effort to be more positive, when we are putting our sweet Baby Girl to bed, we talk about our day, and I tell her 3 things I love about her.

I also make a more conscious effort to recognize her in the moment. For example, today, we played outside and I told her that we needed to come in for lunch. I went inside to start, and when I noticed she still hadn’t come in, I went to see what she was doing. She proudly ran to me squealing “Look mommy! I cleaned up all the toys outside!” I went out to look, and sure enough she had neatly placed them all back in the box. I was actually impressed with how neatly she put it all away,

Childhood is Magical

My Young Mormon FamilyClick the picture to read all of Krystal’s articles.

something I could have missed if I was focusing on the negative. Instead, I made a conscious effort to tell her right then and there how awesome she was for putting it all away without me even asking! These kind encouraging words are what make our child who we want them to be. Nagging them or getting on them for not doing it right will not. My challenge for you is remind yourself what you love about your kids. Focus on the positive, and let go of the negative. In a General Conference talk President Eyring (a General Authority for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) spoke of gratitude. He talked about a gratitude journal he had where every day he wrote something he was grateful for. The same can be applied to our children. You can make a journal and write what you’re grateful about your children for, or something they did that you loved. Better yet tell them, like I am striving to do! Not only does it remind me of the positives, but it also lets your children know that Mommy may have had a rough day and maybe even yelled a lot, but I still love you, and this is why.

About Krystal Wilkerson
Krystal is a latter-day mom and Holy Homemaker to 3 beautiful kiddos who is striving to find joy in the everyday trenches of motherhood and life! Her passion is sharing her experience of decluttering with a purpose to help others create a Holy Home where the messes subside and the Spirit resides. She is a lover of books, nature, music, food, the gospel, and all things Texas! Follow her at her website, Latter-day Mom!

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