Thursday, April 11, 2013
Occasionally a blind spot is revealed. Just because someone has a blind spot, doesn't mean they have to stay blind. We try to constantly check in with our Lord and Savior and ask Him for guidance in areas. Recently,I realized that I was in a constant state of frustration, and finally called the family together. First of all, frustration is just another word for anger and anger is sin. I don't want to live in sin, so something had to be done.
Why was I frustrated? In talking with the family, I realized that I had gotten soft. Being tender hearted is good, but children can smell weakness a mile away, and I was in a trap of making decisions based on what might be the least upsetting or disappointing to someone. This NEVER works! If I say yes to a movie, and let a child pick the movie, then another is unhappy about the choice. Then the next time, they are more likely to be upset with the movie choice that I decide on in an effort to not have one child pitted against another. It's a vicious cycle that leads to children ultimately believing that whatever I say is actually only a suggestion and next thing I know I can't ask someone to bring in the garbage and have it actually happen. It has reached a point where the child CAN'T even hear me! It is so unfair to the children. I have done this thing. I have pandered to their flesh and my own, and caused uncertainty and confusion.
How did it start? It began with me not speaking clearly and not following through with my unclear directions, which leads to children making decisions, which leads to me avoiding upsets by trying to go with the child's take on the situation which leads to children not able to even hear me when I am speaking clearly. Eventually, the frustration leads to difficulty sleeping which leads to memory loss and more confusion. I don't even know what I said or wanted!
It's time to TURN around. Of course, it's way past time to turn around, but turning around is still an option. It's just a harder, longer turn around. We as Christians can turn around! Isn't that a blessing? Our Heavenly Father gives so much grace! I was headed down a road of sinful, constant grumpiness and anger. And hopelessness. We would loose our family. I would pull it down with my own hands. But God, who is full of mercy is so good to give me a new vision.
Here is what I should be in the habit of doing:
Never allow a child to ask for a movie, or a certain cup, or a certain seat at the table. ( Whatever) Guide them to their place. "Here, Johnny, this is your seat. " Stick to the decision with a smile and expect a cheerful smile back- every time!
Always show them that I am wanting to bless them with a fun activity. It is an activity of my choice because God has made me their mommy. A fun activity can be an option. There are always chores that a child could do instead. If there is a fuss about a child not wanting to color, for instance, I can ask them to wipe down the sink instead. Then, the child will have to wipe down the sink and then MAY come and cheerfully color after that.
Oh, this is just an example of many scenarios. Children will test their boundaries, but it doesn't mean that they shouldn't have them or don't want them. They will be happier the more solid you are. I know this. I've been there and I'm going back!