Guest Post: Pay Attention

Happy Monday! Sharla is back with her last guest post of the year! I'm so honored that Sharla made time to post to this blog these last five months. She has so much insight into motherhood and life. Please don't stop reading her. Head over to her blog and check out her brilliant story telling of her crazy, fun family!

Also, she is in the process of writing a book! It's her story of her marriage crisis, working through betrayal and embracing forgiveness while raising four small children. Once it is ready to go, I'll let you know. But keep your eyes peeled, you will not want to miss it!

Please check out her other posts and leave a comment if you like it!
January - Blow It Big
February -  Family Principles
March - Love Does
April - This It Through

Too short of a time ago, I had four young children who cried as I made supper, grabbed me around the knees, and woke me up when I tried to sleep. Now I have four teenagers who drive themselves places, stay up when I go to bed, and call to say they will be home late. My oldest child, Makenna, will graduate high school in less than a month. My job with her is nearly done. My job with all of them is past the mid point.

I spent a lot of their younger years worrying about safety, bedtimes, health foods, parenting strategies, and violence in cartoons. It wore me out and it wore me down. Looking back on it now, I think I could simplify the whole thing with one general rule of parenting: Pay attention.

Most of my best parenting moments have happened just because I noticed something. An attitude that seemed inconsistent. A puddle of tears on a pillow. An out-of-character comment. When Josiah didn’t do his homework. When Makenna did do her homework. When Drake punched a hole in his wall and covered it with his poster. When Emery stopped painting. 

When I paid attention, I stumbled upon the right questions to ask. I talked when they were ready instead of when it worked into the correct time slot. I loved them when it was effective. I knew when to buckle down and when to let the rules slide.

When you pay attention to your kids, you might notice they don’t always need you to defend them; they can stand up for themselves sometimes. They don’t always need you to protect them; they need to learn how to handle pain. They don’t always need you to provide for them; they need to earn something. 

But they always need you to notice them. 

They need to know they are not going to spiral out of control, they won’t get forgotten, they are valid, and someone has got their back. Someone is paying attention.

The time a child spends at home is consuming, exhausting, and short. 

Notice it.

Sharla Hintz lives in Des Moines, Iowa with her husband and four teenage children. She owns and runs a remodeling and management company with her husband, and spends most of her time trying to avoid working there.

 She graduated from University of Northern Iowa with a degree in science, and puts that degree to good use by ignoring it so she can write a blog called


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