Monday, February 26, 2007

Little boys

Someone told me today that I seem to have incredible patience with my boys. As I laughed and shook my head, I realized her comment probably had more to do with how wild my boys were being at that moment, than because of my supernatural tranquility. It was a zoo around here today, especially in that last hour before Dave got home. This isn't unusual, but some days it hits me harder than others. This was one of those days. A wake up call really, when I finally realized that my children need a lot more correction than I'm doling out.

Hmmm...sometimes I wonder. How am I going to survive this?! And is the goal really just to *survive*? No, of course not, but honestly, I am constantly amazed at how much work this whole parenting thing takes!

I have been meditating on John 12:24 recently:
"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit."

Becoming a parent is a call to die to self, isn't it? No one knows this better than the mom with the brand newborn baby, after being up all night trying every trick in the book to get that little one to sleep. We could just leave them in their cribs to figure it out on their own, I suppose, but we don't. We give up our greatest desire (at that moment) for precious sleep, and we pace the hall cuddling their tiny bodies and singing lullabies. It's definitely self-denial.

And from what I hear, things don't get any easier as kids get older. We can't always blame their behavior on teething or gas. :) We're responsible to teach them and train them in the ways of the Lord. Yikes. I want to go back to the baby phase!

So maybe I'm just thinking about all these things because my baby is turning 1 tomorrow. Or maybe I just had a bad day. But regardless, Amy's posts about Life with 3 under 3 have been a real encouragement to me this evening (I am typing on my MacBook, so I can't link to them...still figuring this thing out! But I link to her in my sidebar: Amy's Humble Musings). She had a lot of encouraging things to say about our reactions to, say, bad behavior, that makes us want to "go nuclear." Her advice was to stop everything for a few days and focus on getting things under control. The way she describes it makes me laugh. Go check it's too good!

In her comments, a lady named Tina responded with this: In order to have a “plan of attack” and “consistency” and the ability to “put things on hold”, you must stay home as much as possible when the children are all very young. When my twins were little, (#S 3 and 4 of 5 under 7) I remember telling a godly older woman that my children seemed to disobey more in public than at home. She replied,”No, they don’t. You simply don’t notice the behaviours at home because you aren’t being watched and you’re more relaxed. Attack the character issues at home that bother you when you are in public. Be consistent and you’ll begin to notice that your children don’t disobey at the grocery store anymore!” She was right. We developed a plan of attack and soon I could count on them behaving anywhere (usually)! One other thing that comes to mind is importance of transitioning to “WHY” we behave. In the early “3 under 3″ stage, children must learn to obey because Daddy and Mommy say so. As the children grow,they must obey because God says so.

So anyway, tomorrow is a new day, another day to start fresh, and raise those kiddos right! I'm encouraged to keep at it, and really focus on my little boys' hearts. I may not be the most patient momma out there, but I do know that the Lord chose me for the job.


Eryn said...

i love this! i am constantly surprised at how little "christian" parents are disciplining these days. and i think this can be one of our greatest witnesses: to teach our children to obey and be respectful. this is such a testimony to others and encouraging to christian mothers. it is hard and can be discouraging but it is actually "encouraging" (for me) to remember the fault lies with me and not my children if they are misbehaving more than usual. it is my lack of discipline, not that they are being particularly "bad" that day.

bandanachick said...

I have been reading Amy's blog too, and have been so encouraged by it. Not that I know anything of what she (or you) are going through. But it is encouraging to know that I am not the only one who struggles with this parenting thing. For me it is more the lack of sleep than the discipline thing, but still she is encouraging anyways.
I can't wait to see you this weekend.

Anonymous said...

I will be praying for you, Rach. Remember that discipline means to train the child, not just to punish him or her for doing wrong. Sometimes mothers get too busy cleaning, reading, being on the computer, or whatever and so the child acts up to get attention. Giving them some positive attention will sometimes help. :) Child training is definitely a full time job. Love you, Mom
And Happy Birthday, Simon!

Jennelle said...

Happy Birthday to your little one!



marti said...

I remember struggling with this Rachel. You seem to have more thought and wisdom already than I did as a young mother. The resources are so much better and the computer makes getting encouragement or advice easier. But the whole of success is in a life yielded to the Father of Mercies. He will give you grace and wisdom for each day as you call upon Him. Keep looking up!