Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Those Parenting Moments

If you have children spaced about 18 months or less apart, you know they will find mischief together. I have two sets of children spaced about that far apart. As of this morning, I have another story to add to my collection. Yiddee and H-Bug decided upon a midnight snack last night. H-bug is in a growth spurt so it makes sense she would be hungrier than normal. I would have happily fed her IF she had asked me. Only, she didn't ask me. 

My little girls raided the fridge together, took a smorgasbord of foods to their beds, and made an enormous mess! Then, I think they fell asleep in what they spilled! Yuck! I woke up to two very sticky little girls, stained clothes, a mattress that had to be thrown out, and a BIG mess to clean up. The mingled food smells weren't easy on the stomach. Blech! So much for the sugar and spice...wait, I think they had some of that on the bed too!!

Em is independent and likes to take care of things she feels should be done. That is a very desirable quality in appropriate situations. "Train up a child" means we encourage what is right and discourage what isn't. It means we give a lot of thought to our parenting, respond with a goal in mind, and don't just react to the situation by letting our frustrations take control. We should discipline with wisdom, grace, and patience with a goal of building and not tearing down. 

I don't want to discourage Emily's independent nature that has her acting where she sees a need, but I am working to teach her wisdom and discretion. For Hannah, we discussed about going to the appropriate person for help and for not going along with doing wrong even if it gives personal gain. I am thankful for experiences like this, as frustrating as they can be on an already busy day, because they give me opportunities to shape their character. 

It also gives an opportunity to to self check myself. Am I exampling self control, patience, forgiveness, etc? This morning, I did OK. If it had been another morning, I may have had to apologize for my reaction. 

Apologize?! To children?!! The Bible tells us to apologize to people when we do wrong. Children are people too!! Humility goes a long way in building strong relationships. Please apologize to your children when you mess up, fellow parent. It will only sting your pride for a moment, but they will love and respect you more for it. Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. (Do a Bible study on pride vs humility, and see what is reaped from each.)

Take heart young moms: ALL of us mothers have these types of stories to share; even the mothers who pretend otherwise. Children do crazy things, and like their parents, none of them are perfect. Start seeing "those moments" as divine appointments for parenting and growth for your own walk. Each situation is the perfect opportunity to mold and shape your child for the Lord. Each situation is also used by the Father to mold and shape you for His purpose in your life.

May there be JOY in your parenting!