I noticed that one of my kids, in particular, has been very defensive. I ask him to pick up his socks and he says, “I’m sorry, all right?!!” I tell him he can’t whack his brother, and he says, “Fine, then! I wasn’t even hurting him!”
So, I had a talk with him. I said, “When I correct you, I’m not trying to hurt you. I want what’s best for you! Do you believe that I want you to be happy?” His frustrated expression gave his answer: No, he’s not convinced of this.
I decided to try something new. I told him that he has permission at any time to ask me, “Mom, are you just trying to hurt me?” or “Are you trying to put me down?”
I’ve heard those questions at least a dozen times this week, and you know what? I realized that sometimes I am trying to put him down and shame him into conformity. This makes me so sad, but it makes me happy, too! Sad, because this is not the way that Jesus responds to me, nor the way he wants me to parent. But happy, because each time, I’ve had the opportunity to apologize, and make things right with my son.
I feel like I do the bulk of my parenting in the summer months. You, too? Let’s redeem the sunny hours, and represent Jesus well to our kids.
awesome. I think I may have to try this myself, as I sometimes wonder how often my discipline is more about my frustration with the child, and less about the actual infraction….thanks for the reminder!
I'm so with you on this Shannon. My husband farms and works very long hours in the summer, and so the parenting is heavy on my shoulders. God's been dealing with me on this very issue, and not in an exactly comfortable or easy manner. Thankfully, He is a forgiving God, and so are my kids, and we're all working on our tone, attitude, and response time to requests. So far this week, we've all been behaving much better, Mom included!
I love this idea, Shannon. I will try it! Sometimes my girls will say, “Mom, why are you speaking so sharply to me?” Ugh. Why am I indeed?!? A lot of parental growth going on this summer!!
Stephanie, so true. Sometimes I ask myself, “Would I be this mad if it was somebody else's kid?”
Traci, amen to a forgiving God and forgiving kids!
Alice, summer is a good time to grow, isn't it? Let's grow more than our kids! 🙂