How can love not be enough? What happened to "love is all we need"?
I'm learning the hard way that love isn't enough. You can't just LOVE your children.
I LOVE my children. I really and truly do. I LOVE them. I CARE for them. I CHERISH them. But it isn't enough.
D and I have failed them. Dois is still young, so let's just say this--we've failed Bebe.
Now, how can I say that we've failed our 8-year-old? Is she smoking? Is she living in juvenile hall? Is she constantly being punished? Is she flunking out of school? No, she's not doing any of those things.
At the same time, she doesn't interact with her peers appropriately, she knows no boundaries when it comes to personal interactions, she expects the world to bow down to her beck and call, she is disrespectful to others, etc.
We've sat back so many times and said, "How did this happen? We've LOVED her. We've CARED for her. We've FED her. We've met her basic needs! How did this happen?"
We ignored Proverbs 22:6: "Train the young in the way they should go; even when old, they will not swerve from it."
"The road to Hell is paved with good intentions." The saying goes. Are we heading for Hell? I don't know. But some days, especially on the weekends, it feels like hell.
Our house has no rules. Not a single one. There is no across-the-board rule that I can think of. Everything is tolerated. We say a lot of "don't do that" but do we enforce it? No. Enforcing takes more effort. We can't make the effort because we're too tired. We're too tired because we work full-time (and D works full-time and part-time), there's a home to care for, chores to be done, etc. Enforcing rules will be met with resistance and resistance is exhausting. Then when Bebe goes somewhere and someone tells her what to do, she disregards them. And we wonder why?
God entrusted us to be parents to our children and we are failing them. We don't beat them, we don't starve them, etc. but our parenting thus far can be just as damaging long-term.
I don't know where we're headed from here. We always say we'll try harder, we want to do better, etc. but it hasn't happened yet. "Better late than never" but what if it really does become never?
I'm so discouraged, and sad for our children. It's not their fault they are who they are, it's entirely ours.
(Part II coming later: The Plan)