I learned a valuable lesson this week – I learned that my strong-willed daughter likes to do things her way. I know, I know… duh! She’s number 5 so you’d think I’d have at least some of the obvious parenting things worked out. Alas, each child stretches me more and more … and more.
It is almost funny to look at how I viewed each of my children as strong willed now that I have an actual, honest-to-goodness strong-willed child. Boy was I naïve! And I’ll tell you that training and disciplining a strong-willed child could be an Olympic sport!
My daughter could test the mettle of any warrior … exhaust the most seasoned marathoner … twist any gymnast up in knots … and throw any diver into a tailspin. She is challenging beyond anything I could have imagined … and I love her fiercely!
I have learned that fewer words are necessary with her … actually fewer words are imperative. Shutting my mouth is SO difficult! I just want to make sure she understands. I feel the need to explain everything, remind, cajole, beg, and basically make her give up simply from the weight of all my words.
Actually none of my children need the number of words I tend to use with them. I know that from the glazed expressions. There is a verse, “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.” (Proverbs 10:19) I’d prefer to be wise rather than sinful any day. Unfortunately, my natural tendency is NOT to bridle my tongue.
Many of us have read the account of the Proverbs 31 woman … and been terribly dismayed by our lack of ability to fulfill that role. I am learning to take great delight in the possibility that with Christ I can indeed be like this amazing woman … or at least headed in the right direction. This week I believe I’m to focus on,
[verse reference=”Proverbs 31:26″]She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.[/verse]
This is another one of those things I wish I could write …”So, I’m determined to keep my mouth shut, my actions loving, and my attitude godly as I discipline and train my children.” But I think maybe I just need to pray that God will enable me to be the mommy my children need. It is way too easy to think that with determination I can be the Mom I want to be.
I have found after 18 years and 5 children that there isn’t much I can determine to do that I actually do well, unless I have the strength of God to enable me to do it.
Even as I sit here writing this post, my daughters have disobeyed me no less than 5 times … I have raised my voice and felt like putting them both in timeout for the rest of their lives.
I’m thinking that isn’t the whole teaching of kindness thing done well. This might be more difficult than I thought. Thankfully I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!
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Sue Birdseye is an author and communicator who shares the adventures she has on her unexpected journey of single parenting. She went from the typical “picket fence” kind of life to being a single mom to five beautiful children. She has learned what it means to be totally dependent upon the Lord and how beautiful that dependence is. Her change of life circumstances has led to a passionate desire to encourage and bless other moms no matter their life circumstances. She has been active in her community as a foster/adoptive mom and public school teacher. She has also been part of her church’s worship, discipleship, women’s, and children’s ministries. She is an avid book reader, a game night hoster, and an early morning writer. Her book “When Happily Ever After Shatters” is the story of how God stepped into her life and the lives of her children just when everything seemed to be falling apart. She hopes that her writing will encourage, bless, and maybe even make someone smile.