Reliable Guess-work

My oldest daughter’s attitude this morning wasn’t pretty. Sigh. We’d had a mini-blow-up last night when I told her and her sister to pick up their room. They’d just gotten going good on a new “play idea” and had arranged everything into little rooms of a castle. Problem? It was bedtime and the room-clog needed to go! And unaccustomed to this kind of inner revolt from my children, I blithely tucked them in and didn’t think twice about it.

So, this morning (as promised to my 6 yo) I went in and helped make “the castle” all over again for resumation of their playtime enjoyment! Carry on, troops! Right?

I know all moms can identify with the frustration of having a child who just refuses to “snap out of their snit”…and this emotional teariness was SO unlike my oldest. She absolutely did not want to drop the negativity, to put it nicely. She’d already announced she wasn’t going to play, and when we ignored her and kept making the castle bigger and better, her pouting increased…not so subtly.

Have you noticed how sometimes parenting seems to be going along all sugar and spice and then suddenly some outright rebellion slaps you in the face seemingly out of nowhere? Usually, in this case, you realize you’ve been letting little things slide b/c for the most part, your kids have been trotting right along  being the best kids in the universe!

So I admit to some floundering this morning when finally I confronted my 8 yo about her attitude. I waited till she was alone and reminded her that it wasn’t “the worst day in the world”…we talked about how sometimes when really bad things happen, ie–losing a loved one, we really turn to God and get strength to deal with it and help those around us. How ironic that we tend to “lose it” with the little things. We talked a bit longer; wish you could have been a fly on the wall to hear all her complaints.

I left her room and about a half hour later, she came to me. She apologized, asked my forgiveness and she started listing off all the things she was thankful for. It was genuine. How hard is it to admit to being wrong…to your parent even? Because the things she’s now thankful for, are the things she was complaining about this morning. She’d experienced God’s grace…a complete turn around.

Sometimes parenting seems like guess-work in the face of an angry, hurting child. Especially one old enough to know better. One that needs wisdom and direction. Not to mention that we parents are so afraid of failure.

I’m not advocating “preaching at”  your child. This “talk” must not be reaction-spawned or a put-down of them. Encourage them with reminders of why God’s way is the only and best way. Maybe share a story of how you had to learn the hard way. Then leave the room and…

Pray hard!

7 thoughts on “Reliable Guess-work”

  1. I’m with you here, Mary. We as parents need to take the time to prepare in advance our response so we don’t react poorly, we need to pray a lot, and need to let the Holy Spirit work in lives.

    Thanks for this encouragement!

  2. WOW, what a lovely approach you took!! I totally agree with this post. As a Mom of a 18, 15 & 6yo I really have learned to take a more calming and true to life approach in my parenting. It usually works.

    I love it when I child realizes that they are using a non-desirable behavior and then apologize for it.

    I also remember a time I had a CRUDDY day and my 6yo was being his normal, lovey happy, 1000000 question a day asking self (lol) and I snapped at him from out of nowhere. The look on his face was pure hurt! I immediately told him that I was so sorry for being SHORT and that I had a bad day but that is no excuse to speak that way. I asked for his forgiveness and we moved on. It was great that he could see it happens to us all, but it should be corrected!

    WOW – sorry for the ramble…

  3. I loved the ramble! It resonated…because every mom can relate to a moment such as you shared…and I’ve found such understanding and forgiveness from my children, it’s humbling. It does them good to know that adults even struggle, and aren’t too “good” to apologize about it. I remember one Sunday in church when a mother of 8 stood up and with a cracking voice shared how she just couldn’t go through the service without apologizing to her family. She’d been short and grumpy with them while getting everyone out the door and she just couldn’t bear it. That confession blew my mind…it touched me so much, that this Godly woman (she has such a living testimony) opened up and shared from her heart like that. Likewise, I think it does a lot for our kids to know that they aren’t the only ones who mess up and have to get it right.
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Hello,

    I read your husband’s blog and discovered that you have one too. This is a great article. My children are not as old as your’s are, but I can totally relate to letting things pass because your kids seem like the best in the universe! Oh I do that all the time… then yep sure as rain I get slapped wiht rebellion! Wow, being a parent is hard work!

    I will also remember your words of wisdom…”don’t preach at your kids” “remind them of why God’s way is the only and BEST way”.

    Thanks for that tip… I seem to forget it in the heat of things sometimes. But I really want my children to experience the truth, and His grace as I have… Thanks again.

    I’ll be back,
    Mrs. Meg Logan

  5. Oops! My husband doesn’t blog,lol! MInTheGap is a good friend, and I wish his wife blogged, but she’s a very busy lady! ;O)
    I’m so glad you came by, I’ve read a couple of your comments on his site and enjoyed your viewpoint. Thanks for commenting here too!

  6. It looks as if I have a wife I’ve never met! Seriously, though, Mary is a blog friend that I’ve never met in person, but I really appreciate her and her blog– and this was a really great post.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge