It’s hard to be a Hensley: The Blessing of a Skinned Knee

Raising four toddlers born in six years was not an evidenced-based model for parenting in 2014 but it was the reality in our home. One of the most influential reads was The Blessing of a Skinned Knee by Wendy Mogle PhD. Our ultimate goal was to grow strong independent people who had compassion and awareness of their community. We started our family meetings with a family value statement and discussed what was working and nor working. Sounds great in theory but the reality was that we were chasing crying children, searching for melatonin, and co-sleeping for survival.
While my heart was in the right place I was able to surround myself with self-help books on parenting, resilience, and behavior change. Wendy Mogle uses her faith base and structure to describe a way of raising self–reliant, exuberant, and compassionate children. She describes the “blessings” that address key parenting issues including:

• Teaching respect for adults
• Chores
• Keeping expectations in line with your child’s temperament
• Meal-time battles
• Coping with frustration
• Avoiding over-scheduling and overindulgence
• Helping your child develop independence and self-control

Now that the children are teenagers not a lot has changed in our home around chores or mealtime battles, but we are blessed with resilient young adults. They are committed to their family, invested in education, and grounded in tradition and family values. Was it easy, heck no, but when I reflect I am thankful that most of the day to day was a blur.
How do families survive in the face of chaos? Faith can help, support is welcomed, and education is the key to changing parental behaviors and creating the intended family environment. In hindsight, I may have overstressed and obsessed over perfection. It may sound cliché but when mom and partner are in agreement and united in the strategy families can thrive. And thrive they do, our oldest left for college, our junior is working hard to excel in AP classes and reduce her carbon footprint and our youngest is the biggest humanitarian I could have ever imagined. The blessing of the skinned knee is watching who they grow into and enjoying the adults that they become.
The Blessing of a Skinned Knee: Using Timeless Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children