In the past, I’ve admitted that sometimes I feel like I am my own child’s bully. Really. Not because I’m being hard on myself, but because it’s true! I really sat and thought about this some time ago, and asked myself that if someone else talked to my child the way I sometimes did, if I would be okay with it. If they belittled them the way I sometimes do, if I would ever let them around my kids again. Heck NOOO! No one treats my kids that way. Well, except me. When I’m mad. Or when I’m disappointed. Or when the burdens of life seem to heavy to bear and I take it out on them. Or when they fail in my eyes. I could go on and on about the circumstances I’ve allowed to shape the way I treat my kids.
I’ve had to ask my children for forgiveness more times than I can count. But somehow, I keep reverting back to this way of handling situations without me even realizing until it’s too late. I’m breaking my children. I’m broken. And broken people break other people. Parenting is hard, but sometimes I think I need to take a step back from parenting. I need to do things different if I plan on raising confident, loving children. I keep trying to control them. Like maybe if they do everything exactly the way I think they should, they’ll turn out exactly the way God wants them. Cause I know best, right?
But who am I trying to raise? Myself? Or 3 young men who God created to be very different than me? 3 boys each with different personalities, talents, desires, and abilities. I get frustrated when Darion, my 12 year old, doesn’t have the same hard work ethic that I have. And I belittle him because of it. I yell at Mekai, my 6 year old because he’s sensitive and strong willed. My youngest Trey, well, he’s a little over dramatic at times, but he’s the baby, and still cute and innocent, so he doesn’t get mean mom so much, yet… But I’m sure if I don’t get my ways in line, his time is coming.
Kids need a caring adult to call out of them the things they do not yet see in
themselves. Not to shut down the talent, disguised as an annoyance;
but to redirect it, and hone it, and cultivate it. Because maybe you have
your own Einstein sitting right in front of you!
I don’t remember where I heard that, but it hit me hard enough that I replayed it a few times and wrote it down. It’s been on my fridge for quite a few months, but I’ve not really done much with that info. Cause quite frankly, I blame life. It’s busy, my kids make me mad, I lose my temper, I want to control everything, and here we are back to square one.
I keep assessing the situation with my 12 year old. He doesn’t have any desire to succeed in school. He doesn’t want to do his school work or put forth the effort of even checking to see if he has school work. It’s a daily battle. And I don’t enjoy it. I don’t have time for it. Most of the time, our talks about school are while I have a client in my chair! And I can’t totally give him all of my attention. Chores. I won’t even start on chores. I could do in 10 min what takes him 3 hours. I get so down. I cry, I yell, I punish, I beg God for help, I am so dramatic and act like it’s the end of the world. But really. Come on. Am I seeing my son in the natural? Or if I choose to see him in the supernatural, will the fog on my eyes be removed?
Do his grades in school change the destiny that God spoke about him before he was ever created? Does the fact that a 12 year old boy gets sidetracked and doesn’t want to do his chores make his value go down? Do the things that I see as negatives mean that he won’t live up to his full potential in life? PROB NOT! Okay, just NOT. None of those are true. What is true is that I have not been looking at my sons through God’s eyes. I have not been pulling out their talents and speaking life into them. I have not been encouraging them in the things that they love and desire to do, cause I’m too busy trying to make them fit the mold of a successful American child.
Yes, homework is important. Ya, they’re gonna do chores cause I can’t do it all. And ya, they are going to fail at things, want to quit things, and at some point have no desire to do things they may even be good at. Who am I to decide what they enjoy and want to pursue in life. What the heck am I doing when I try to control my kids. I wanted to think I was helping them not to fail. But instead of succeeding at what they enjoy or love, maybe they are failing at something God didn’t put in their heart. I should be worried that my words and actions towards them look like love. I should be adult enough to guide them the same way my heavenly father guides me. With LOVE. You don’t give someone motivation by telling them to get motivated or telling them what’s wrong with them. You motivate them by speaking truth and life into them.
I sometimes see their behavior as annoying or a bad thing. But maybe, just maybe, that will turn into the one greatest thing that sets my child apart from everyone else in the world. Maybe God just needs me, the person he entrusted these beautiful little souls to, to be the one person that believes they are perfect just the way their Heavenly Father intended them to be. He wants me focused on encouraging them to fulfill their supernatural destiny, instead of focusing on their failures in the natural. He wants me to speak value into them. God needs me to step back and trust Him, that when I give grace for them to be human, they will see the love of the Lord in me, and turn around and give it right back into the world around them!!
This blog was actually for me. I needed to tell myself these things, because my kids deserve better than what I have given them. God’s equipped me for this very thing. He’s equipped you. It’s a matter of letting the Holy Spirit take control and change a mindset that is so deeply rooted in me. Hopefully there will be more to come on how to actually put this into practice, because for me, that is the hardest thing.