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