Tag Archives: behavior

Crazy Dayz

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Yes, ‘Crazy Dayz’ is my address these days. Don’t misunderstand, not every day fits this description, but many as of late. I know I’m not alone. Parenting is no easy task and I am constantly reading parenting books ’til I feel I myself could be a counselor (for others’ kids, that is!) but more than that, I am constantly asking God, begging actually, for wisdom.

Ever feel like you are ready to try something new with your child only to discover it’s just not the right time? I’m not talking sports or even school activities, I’m talking church activities. Programs that will build character and biblical knowledge into your child. Yeah, that!

Let me illustrate, if I may. Not long ago, I felt the desire to build biblical knowledge into our son. While we work on it at home, and have him in church, I researched 2 different programs for him. One involved me learning alongside him, though separated by our ages; the other involved me dropping him off more or less for someone else to teach him. After much thought and consideration, I came to the conclusion that I would try the choice of learning alongside each other. I was so excited, as this was something I’d even done in the past pre-child. I was eager to learn and be in that environment again, not to mention the wonderful pouring into my son.

Alas, the big night arrived! My son and I traveled somewhat of a distance to the church where the Bible study was to take place. Suffice it to say the evening was a disaster. Let’s say it together, DISASTER! Now I’m not going to bore you with the minutia of details in poor behavior choices displayed that night, but trust me, I left the building in tears. I was embarrassed and overwhelmed. I was upset that I couldn’t control my child’s behavior. Again. I felt ashamed and disheartened. Unfair, I thought to myself. Can’t I take him anywhere without this outlandish display of naughtiness? After all, at one point, there was a search for my son within the building as multiple women with walkie talkies mind you, were scouring the hallways and stairwells for my boy. Unacceptable!

We continued going for an extra 3 weeks, with my husband accompanying us from the parking lot to my son’s classroom. Embarrassment was my first name. We encountered minimal success, up until this now last week, has demonstrated to me that the time is just not right for us to do this together. Upset doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt after I’d showered, dressed, prepared, managed to get him dressed in proper clothes and into the van to head out for our evening….only to have to turn around. I had reached my limit of frustration for the day. For the week. For the month. Yes, we returned home for him to receive due punishment for the actions displayed. I couldn’t bear the weight of the stares and subsequent irritation another night.

Behavior that demands discipline is tough water to navigate. Not any one thing works for all children. This, for me, has been the hardest part! Trying to understand how the child thinks, paired with the state of their hearts leads to much scratching of the head on our part, as the parents of said child. When spanking, taking away toys, electronics, TV, contents of his room, even parties doesn’t yield a change of behavior, it’s time to move on to what WILL work. Consistency for sure but promoting discipline to cause a change of behavior is the goal here. I’ve learned that it looks different for every child, even siblings raised together.

Peace is a luxury at our house. I’m not kidding. I wish I were! We strive for it, ask God for more of it, try to create it, and seek to train our son so that he will choose it for himself. Easier said than done. Amen?

Let’s just say that as my husband so eloquently told me earlier in this trying week, “the devil is getting into your head”. And, I concur that that is the case. Our enemy whispered lies into my head, ‘you’re not a good mother‘  to ‘what made you think you’d be a good mother?’ and ‘why bother? ‘ even ‘just give up‘ and ‘your life is a joke‘. Lies from the pit of H-E-(double hockey sticks), as I like to say! Thankfully I know enough about the enemy’s lies that when I’m clear-headed, I recognize these thoughts are not from God. The enemy loves to isolate us and make us believe that we are the only ones in the particular predicament we’re in. Our enemy loves us to feel defeated, embarrassed, powerless, judged, unable to rise above the issue, and most of all hopeless.

Whether your issue is similar to mine, or something completely different, allow me to say that YOU ARE NOT ALONE in your struggle. The Lord knows and He sees. He lavishly pours out wisdom when we ask for it. He sends us wisdom through trusted friends, family, our pastor, solid books, Sunday School, and most definitely, His Word. BUT, we have to be tuned in to His channel to hear it and then ask Him to help us to apply it. I’ve learned there are no “magic formulas” in the parenting books we ravage. The answers are found within God’s Word, as we quiet ourselves to hear His still small voice. There are no shortcuts.

I’m still learning, still struggling, still seeking and praying. I don’t have the answers, but He does. We are not an island to ourselves. Beware of the devil’s schemes, his lies, and triggers. Join me in filling your mind with the things of Philippians 4:8 and press into God’s heart. For this is the secret to all of life.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8, NIV)

 

 

Me, Alexander? You, Dennis?

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Me, Alexander? You, Dennis?

One day I might be able to laugh about it. One day.

Actually, I laughed out loud last night. Only because it was portrayed on the TV. I’m talking about Dennis the Menace. Remember that 1950 something black and white show about a curiously inquisitive, yet innocent looking little tot who manages to find trouble wherever he goes…especially next door, with his neighbor, good ‘ol Mr. Wilson! That’s the one! I loved watching this show when I myself was a young’un. I’d laugh and laugh at all Dennis’s shenanigans. It seemed like real life comedy straight out of Hollywood!

That was until I had a boy of my own.

So, watching the show last night made me laugh because, oh my word, I can relate to poor Mrs. Mitchell, Dennis’ mother. If it’s not one thing, it’s another with that boy! All I could think is, that woman needs an award for all she’s put up with. No wonder she only had one child. Fast forward to me, my son, and an only child at that. Similarity on steroids! I guess it’s true what they say, misery loves company. There’s comfort to be found in others who are in the same boat, at the same time.

I had a thought though as I was being entertained by the ‘5o’s TV show last night…..perhaps I need to adjust my attitude. My child, busy as he is with a dose of naughtiness, a spoonful of mischievousness, and energy out the wazoo, is a gift. That’s right. He’s a gift from God and therefore he was created by God. Instead of feeling frustration day after day with his actions (I started to say “behavior” but behavior can be adjusted or corrected; innate curiosity is something different), just like Mrs. Mitchell, I need to embrace my gift and adjust accordingly. There are times to punish naughtiness and there are times to roll with the curiosity of a toddler boy. There are also plenty of opportunities to just sit back and have a good belly laugh over their outlandish and creative imagination! I prefer to choose laughter over anger and negativity; after all, I don’t want to be like *Alexander who proclaims his day is terrible, horrible, and no good.

I’ve decided that we as parents tend to get the most frustrated and irritated with our children when they don’t act or respond the way we think they should. I think I’ve heard this from a psychologist somewhere at some point. In other words, expecting a certain maturity of behavior from a young child will only yield frustration because that young child isn’t capable of it just yet. I find myself in this state quite often. I expect my child to respond or react in a way that I would expect a peer of mine to respond. Impossible. Chalk this up to impatience! Somewhere along the way, I’ve heard it said the older a person is, the more patient he is….HA! At least that is not true of me.

To put shoe leather on this, as my former pastor used to say, I have been erroneously trying to manage my emotions and frustrations over parenting on my own. If I’ve read one parenting book, I’ve read ten! I’m not saying books aren’t of value, but Whom better to turn to that our Creator? The One who made me, the One who created my son. God’s Word should be my go to source. A book to supplement here and there is okay but where am I getting my main advisement??? At some point, enough reading regurgitated psychological thoughts….no two children are the same. Comparison is not where it’s at. Being in tune with my Maker, who is also my son’s Maker (duh!), has all the wisdom and equipping I need.

That said, I’m committing this year to turn to God’s Word first, rather than as a last resort. God’s Word has the power to transform and renew my mind, to change my “want to” and give me a song in my heart. His Word not only has the power to change me and my heart, but also my son and his heart. I want and need God’s wisdom above all else. In order to attain His wisdom, I have to be plugged into it. Spending time with the Lord, reading His Word, committing it to memory, asking the Holy Spirit to give me the desire to read and understand so that I can apply it to my life is paramount. I need this for my life, and I can bet you need it for yours!

Let’s do this together!

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put aside childish things. (1 Corinthians 13:11, HCSB)

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (Matthew 7:11, HCSB)

For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my request which I asked of Him.   (1 Samuel 1:27, AMP)

And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you]. (Romans 12:2, AMP)

For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12, AMP)

Honor [esteem, value as precious] your father and your mother [and be respectful to them]—this is the first commandment with a promise— (Ephesians 6:2, AMP)

Fathers, do not provoke or irritate or exasperate your children [with demands that are trivial or unreasonable or humiliating or abusive; nor by favoritism or indifference; treat them tenderly with lovingkindness], so they will not lose heart and become discouraged or unmotivated [with their spirits broken]. (Colossians 3:21, AMP)

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105, KJV)

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. (Psalm 119:11, NIV)

Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. (Proverbs 7:2, NIV)

*Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judy Viorst