Life with little ones can be overwhelming. Our children weren’t born perfect little angels and a lot of our mothering is teaching them how to live in this life instead of throwing tantrums and demanding their own way.
When raising our children, I found that if I was to discipline my children for everything little thing throughout the day I became a nervous wreck or a yelling and screaming mother. This is not how we are meant to mother. I believe we can save ourselves so much frustration by proactively mothering rather than letting it all happen around us.
It’s amazing the difference it makes to our children’s behavior when we have the right attitude. A joyful mother makes a joyful atmosphere. A fun-loving mother makes home life fun. A smiling mother encourages smiling children.
Many times, children become irritable and difficult because they are tired, bored, or just need some cuddle time with mother. Instead of getting upset and shouting at them to behave themselves, gather your children together and read them a story. I spent hours gathering my children around me and reading to them. Everyone of these times is another opportunity to cuddle and interact with your children.
I also decided that I would not discipline them for every childish thing. Children can be noisy, full of energy, break things, and just act like children. Well, isn’t that what they are? Children! Therefore, I overlooked much of their childishness. But, I disciplined for the important—disobedience, lies, anger, rebellion, and the things God hates. I did not stand for pouting and tantrums as they a lay a habit for that kind of attitude throughout their life.
I loved this passage I read recently in a novel I was reading. I rarely read a novel, except maybe on vacation, but recently I read one of George MacDonald’s novels which are full of biblical teaching all the way through. In “The Seaboard Parish,” the Rev. Harry Walton will soon be leaving his parish for another parish by the sea. He writes about two of his youngest boys:
“That morning rose gloriously. Harry and Charlie were turning the house upside down, to judge by their noise. . . . I never made much objection to mere noise, knowing that I could stop it the moment I pleased, and knowing too that so far from there being anything wrong in making a noise, the sea would make noise enough in our ears before we left Kilkhaven. But the moment that I heard a thread of whining or a burst or anger in the noise, I would interfere—treating these as things that must be dismissed at once.
“I listened to it (the noise) with a kind of reverence, as the outcome of a gladness which the GOD OF JOY (my capitalization) had kindled in their hearts. Soon after, however, I heard certain dim growls of expostulation from Harry, and having ground for believing that the elder was tyrannizing the younger, I sent Charlie to find out where the tide would be between one and two o’clock, and Harry to run to the top of the hill, to find out the direction of the wind. Before I was dressed, Charlie was knocking at my door with the news that it would be half tide about one. Harry speedily followed with the discovery that the wind was northeast by southwest, which determined the sun would shine all day.”
I loved the way he didn’t get upset with happy noise. I know that some parents are geared to not be able to stand noise and will parent according to their personality. For myself, I love to hear happy noise from children. I don’t mind their jumping around and shouts of laughter. My husband doesn’t find this easy and likes to keep things quieter, but I’m happy with joy and happiness, even if it’s loud.
I also loved the way he proactively dealt with his boys when they began to argue and disagree. Instead of storming in with a stick and yelling at them to stop, he gave them both something creative to do. Immediately, they obeyed, did something positive, and came back not remembering their argument.
As you mother today and face the challenges of imperfect children, be proactive, creative, and filled with the wisdom of the Lord. Don’t ever stand for disobedience, but distinguish between God’s commands and little childishness.
Have a lovely day,
Painting: Available from: http://shop.kmberggren.com/Love_Ever_Afte…/loveeverafter.htm