It’s really funny how knowing the right thing to do isn’t enough. You actually have to act upon it and put it into practice. And that’s exactly what I’ve been reminded about in parenting. Just a disclaimer upfront, sometimes the right thing to do with the kids or just a particular child is not known and that’s when I go to my close friends to see if they have any advice on the matter.
But, there are many times that I do know what needs to be done but because a number of excuses, family in town, laziness, busyness, etc I don’t do it. And that’s what’s been going on around here. I’ve been relying on what we’ve done in the past. I’ve been real easy going, low on structure, and low on training. I’ve been giving warnings to my commands instead of expecting and requiring first-time obedience. I’ve been disciplining rather than training. Both are good, but when training is lacking, than there’s a lot more disciplining that goes on and the kids aren’t getting what they need. And the lack of proper parenting is bound to rear its nasty little head sooner or later.
So…when we were out at a friend’s house late last night and it was time to go, both big kids fell apart. I was mad and I was embarrassed. Mad? I really had no excuse to be mad; if I as the parent have failed to train and equip my children consistently, then it’s my fault, not theirs, when they fall and my failure becomes apparent to all of our friends…ugh!
After getting home last night and getting the little ones into bed, the honey (that’s Tom if you didn’t know) and I did some talking. We discussed the behaviors that we saw in us that weren’t good; we discussed the behaviors that we saw in the kids that weren’t good; and we made a plan. We will be sweet and loving in our words and actions. We will pray with our kids throughout the day – to thank God for something that we just did and to ask for His help when things aren’t going well. I will direct more of their activities during the day and help out with more of the household chores – too much time to do what they want has led to the kids being reluctant to do what we ask them to do. We will accept no whining.
And that is exactly what we’ve been doing today. I got up early, did some Bible reading and praying. Tom got up early, did his quiet time. There’s nothing like your own precious children to drive you to your knees and cry out, “God, save me! Save my children!” When the kids woke up we explained the changes and then set about our morning. We ate, we cleaned up, we did some work in the front yard, the kids played in the sprinkler, etc. We’ve had a great morning. Frankly I expected more resistance. So far I’ve been pleasantly surprised and pleased how the kids have responded to my consistency – I haven’t even had to be a mean mommy…yet. I know that this is a battle for their souls; I want and need to step up to the plate, fall on my knees and do what I know to do. Pray for us.