II Chronicles 7:14

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Mini-Me's?

So, I know this is a little "ironic" coming from me...the person who had a major discipline breakdown yesterday...but I believe God showed me something very simple yet oh-so-important today. As I drove home from the gym I flipped on the Christian radio station. I usually am just in time to catch Kate McVeigh's message..but today as I was running a little later, I got in on Willie George's message instead. It was so timely and appropriate for me that I had to smile and just know that it was no coincidence that I was running behind or that I tuned into his radio broadcast...this moment was ordained by God Himself! Anyway, he said a ton of wonderful stuff on the subject of kids and parents having a backbone--but a few particular comments really struck a chord with me.
"The parent who is passive and lets things just "roll off" is the one who is hurting their child." "The parent who snatches their child up and takes them to the restroom to get set straight is the one who really loves and cares for their child and who is preparing them for life." It is complete selfishness---the parent who doesn't have the "time or willpower" to discipline their child. (That was me yesterday---gulp!)
Also he said "Nothing will be gained by yelling. All yelling will do is teach your kids to scream and yell and huff and puff when things don't go their way." Hmmm.....maybe that's why my daughter exhibits that kind of behavior on a regular basis....she see's me do it. (gulp, gulp!)
He said we (parents) need to realize that love isn't giving our kids what they want and doing fun things with them/for them all the time...love is preparing them for the future.
He used this example: Which drill seargent in the Army is the one who really loves and cares about their soilders? The one who lets them slide by without learning the proper techniques and has fun goofing off with them and then watches them get their head blown off by a bomb? Or the one who is stern and serious and won't accept mistakes while they are learning proper techniques and who proudly stands by and watches as they leave the battlefield unwounded?
If we love our children, we will properly equip them....and if we don't properly equip them...we are selfish and have proven that we love ourselves more than our children! OUCH!
I know that my kids behaved that way yesterday at Wal-Mart BECAUSE I didn't do what I should have. A (consistently) disobedient child is just a clear relfection of a parent who doesn't care enough. I say "enough" because of course we all care about and love our children...but there is a point where you (I) have to realize that what we're doing isn't enough. If my kids, after all they've been taught, still acted that way yesterday...then that should be a sign to me that something isn't being done correctly. Of course...all kids will be kids...and all kids (even properly disciplined ones) will act up at times...so that is not what I am saying...but I KNOW in my case...I am handing out "empty threats" a lot of the time. I don't mean to....and they aren't given as "empty"...but the next thing I know...I've forgotten all about that spankin I owed them and so have they and sometimes its a day or two later before I remember...if ever. All that is teaching them is that I don't mean what I say.
Anyhow, I feel like I could go on and and on...but it boils down to this--for me. If I am a refelction of Jesus (and the fruits of the Spirit)...they will reflect that also. The more kindness, gentleness, self-control and temperance I exhibit....the more they will learn to react that way as well. I can't exactly expect them to behave that way...if I don't even do it myself. Just because I am an adult doesn't mean I don't have to hold myself to the same standards. I find myself saying, "Mommy can say that word...but you can't" or "Mommy's an adult so I can watch this movie...but you can't". What does that teach them?
Anyway, thank you SO MUCH to all of you who offered me such sweet, true and encouraging words yestserday after my post. I realize now that I am the one who messed up in that situation---not them. Praise God for showing me this and for me having an open mind toward it---because yesterday if someone had told me all this, I probably would have decked them in between the eyes!
ha ha
Anyway...love you all!
BTW, the "Spanking" poll has closed and I have some thoughts on the subject...so expect a post about it soon! I can't wait to hear your comments....

11 comments:

Jed & Carrie Sowell said...

AMEN sister! Please know your a normal mom and none of us our perfect and that's why we need the LORD! (he designed it that way) We need him EVERY day to help us raise our kids!

Lisa Adams said...

It's so funny that you should mention that, because that is something Russ and I have been working very hard on too. Being more patient and not yelling and trying to encourage them to be the same way. It is hard, and thank God He is there with us.

Logziella said...

Awesome words Jen!!! We need to parent our children JUST LIKE God parent's us. He doesn't yell.

Empty Threats are a parent's worst enemy and we do it to ourselves!! Think of it this way "to hand out empty threats is to UNparent." You literally are 'UNdoing' training you have already put into them. It's the same thing as telling them they cannot believe what you say. It's huge. I'm not trying to preach at you or anything...please don't take it that way. It's just something that I have learned over time and it has proven to be invaluable! Hopefully it's just a clever way to remember it all...

Love you girl and thanks so much for sharing this...all parents need to be reminded of this! :0)

Logziella said...

Okay, I just re-read my comment and it looks like I was saying that I don't yell at my kids...I do. I try not to do it but I fail at times. Just wanted to clear that up!! :0)

Tammy said...

Great message and a good reminder to us all.

I must really love my child because I just recently snatched her up and took her to the restroom at Max and Erma's! Definitely 'set her straight.'

Here's something else to keep in mind as a parent - don't be so hard on yourself. Just as they're learning, you're learning. We're all going to make mistakes. I've definitely said and done things that weren't the best but its all part of growing.

You're a good mom because you care. And because you want to get better. Your kiddos are very lucky :)

Beverly said...

Wow Jen that is really good. That is actually something we have been working on in our house. As I mentioned we have had some issued with our two youngest boys lately. I honestly thought they were just testing their boundries but then it was just getting worse and worse. I was literally begging God for answers. This is what I have done and some may not have to go this drastic but we had to, to sove the boys behavioral issues(but had we not been so lax I don't think would have ever gotten to this point) Mom turned the cable off first of all. Everyones world came to an end. We are only having family T.V. time and watching the new without the kids. My children were watching way too much T.V. and therefore picking up yucky little habits from it and that was with me monitoring what they were watching. Sadly to say with me working 2 jobs I began to rely on it. I will not do that to them again. My boys are bigger so it is really hard for me to just snatch them up and take them to the restroom for a spanking but they do indeed get one when I get them home. (Jordan is nearly as tall as me and only about 30 pounds lighter) They are also asigned extra household or yard chores for misbehaving. The chore depends on what they did. I have one that is a social butterfly that constantly has a yard full of buddies he messes up and we clear the yard. I have decided I am going to get control over my children if it kills me. I love them enough to do now before it is to late. They however did not understand all of this when I first implimented all of it, so we sat down with the bible and I explained to them how when we do something wrong how we are punished for that. I also explained to them how God entrusted their Daddy and I with them and expect us to take care of them and punish them when they misbehave. They now understand it a bit better, they don't like it anymore but they do understand it. It is nice to hear though that there are more parent other than myself who struggle with this situation. Sorry didn't mean to write a book!

MissGotWings said...

awesome post Jen. I am so glad you took the opportunity to reflect on what happened. Yes, it was a moment "ordained by God." Love how you put that! If only all of us would be so open to the Lord's message instead of confusing it with bad timing or being in a rush. He is constantly guiding us. We just have to open ourselves to Him, watch, and listen.

Beverly said...

Hey Jen I thought you might like like to know that I was checking to see if I could listen to this online and it is actually the 4th part of a series. It is all downloadable. It is at www.churchonthemove.com you have to download itunes if you don't have it and then go to the podcast link. It is then called Bulls Eye Part 1, 2, 3 and 4. Enjoy! Thanks for tuning us into this.

kc said...

I used to always listen to James Dobson's Focus on the Family, on my way to work. I loved that broadcast! He was always teaching on these types of issues. Isn't it amazing how God can speak to us so clearly?!

I'm so glad that you were able to hear this. It sounds like it was a true "God Send" at a time when you were ready to hear it.
I hope my previous post about "NO Empty threats" didn't upset you. I just know that if we threaten, but don't follow through, it is the same as crying wolf, and why should they believe you? Know what I mean?

Hang in there Jen. None of us are "perfect parents". We all struggle, and learn as we go. Luckily we have a Heavenly Father to guide us and strengthen us.
Love you!

MLM said...

Thank you SO MUCH for this post. I really needed to read it, and I appreciate your openness and honesty to share it.

MLM said...

One other thing: I once read that yelling to train your child is like using the horn to steer your car, and about as effective. :o)