One of my daughter’s favorite things to do with her dolls is put them in “Time Out”, not always nicely.
When my children have a disagreement among themselves, more often than not, yelling is involved.
When my oldest daughter doesn’t agree with you she gives you a face that looks like she could slap you upside the head.
So why did they or do they do these things? Take a guess….
Yep, when my son was little I used the word “Crap” about as often as I said “No”. My daughter gets “time out” frequently of late, and I’m not always nice about it. I yell…..WAY more often than I should. That look on my daughter’s face? Well, it’s like looking in the mirror for me.
The nice thing about this phenomenon is that it IS like a mirror that MAKES you face your weaknesses. The bad part is seeing those weaknesses ALL the time and facing up to them and THEN having to train it out of your child as well.
So, why the confession? More of an analysis for me really. I would say about 95% of the time, when I encounter a behavior and/or pattern in my children that I do not like I can trace its beginning back to teaching and training done in the home.
I’ve been thinking this over as I consider our character training for this next academic year. Thinking about what I MUST DO and BE in order to me the mother God and my children are expecting of me. The thing is, I can teach and train ‘til I die….but if I’m not talking the talk and walking the walk, there is very little likelihood that my children will have the character that I aspire them to have. No one listens to a hypocrite.
Does personality matter? Yep. Absolutely. That’s why the teaching and training cannot be identical for each child. That is also why it gets so complicated when you have more than 1 child in the home to deal with.
It’s just like a chemical reaction. There are some chemicals that we don’t mess with too much because they are so volatile. The same goes in the home….there are some personalities in our family that should not be corked in the same bottle for too long. There are also things we know that in our family we just steer clear of….our main triggers are over-scheduling/fatigue and “bad” (for us) eating habits. I know that when we start mixing in one or both of those ingredients there is bound to be a blow-up with someone.
Then I have to consider needs. Physical yes, but mental and emotional more. We cannot listen and learn if our needs are not met. Just think about when you are physically ravenous….can you do calculus? (Well, I can’t do calculus anyway, but you get the point). It’s the same chemical reaction mix. If my kids are not “fed” with all of THEIR needs then very little learning will happen. This is also a tricky one because every child is so different and thus their needs are as well.
It’s tricky, no doubt about it. There are times I feel discouragement start to trickle into my soul, leaving deep black valleys that can quickly fill up with despair. I may have made changes but I have light-years yet to travel on my road to perfection. If it were just me that would be one thing, but I have these little angels in my home that I must guide along the way.
But I am not alone. YOU are not alone. What great trust God must have in us to lend us HIS children to teach and train. He will not leave us alone to do it. I have been running across this message in my devotionals all week, one of my favorite verses of scripture says in beautifully,
7 aAsk, and it shall be bgiven you; cseek, and ye shall find; dknock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that aseekethfindeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
Whenever I feel alone, whenever I feel like I’m the only one working….I stop and reflect….God NEVER leaves us alone….WE walk away from HIM. It’s a promise….we seek, we find….we knock, the door opens….we ask, we receive. Yes, I have a lot of work to do. I have a lot of changing to do. But I have peace, knowing that the One that knows all, will be my guide….IF I but LET Him.