my children are driving me nuts. completely batty! and i don’t mean that they annoy me. well, sometimes they do, but that’s the least of my concerns. i’m genuinely concerned about them. why?
they’re horrible! they fight: pinching, hitting, kicking, pushing, etc. etc. they tattle on each other. they don’t listen AT ALL to us. they complain and throw a fit when asked to do something totally reasonable. it’s awful!
i have yet to find some sort of effective discipline measure that will make any sort of improvement.
but this is only the day to day. this is the least of my concerns.
why? because these are just symptoms. these are the little fires that flare up all day long. i feel like i spend my day stomping them out. one after another, often the exact same fire i just finished stomping out 5 minutes before! but there’s this raging inferno all around us and as long as that’s burning, there’s nothing i can do but just keep stomping while it continues to grow and close in on us and sparking even more and more of these little fires.
at any rate, i’m exhausted, hot and sweaty, and really starting to feel the pressure as this thing closes in.
what is it?
i honestly have no idea… but i’m pretty sure it’s of my own making. years of reactionary parenting, and assuming this was just ‘part of having children’, yelling and allowing of negative influences seem to have caused a massive combustion that i now feel powerless to put out.
i guess i feel like it’s closing in now because my oldest is almost 10. that’s scary! i know what is coming for him and i don’t feel like i’ve done anything to prepare him for it. mainly because i don’t feel like i know how. my teenage and early adulthood years were an absolute disaster!
so for now i deal with the day to day… brainstorming with my husband, trying to enforce rules, devouring books that might shed some light on the subject for me, praying for guidance… and i try to figure out how to deal with the inferno.
in a day to day sense, i want peace. i want children who do as they’re told. i want children who treat each other nicely and treat us with respect.
but in the long run, what is it i want? i want them to be responsible for their own actions. i want them to know right from wrong and make their decisions accordingly. i want them love each other and treat each other as such – not just because they will get in trouble if they don’t. i want them to be honest. i want them to be respectful and compassionate toward others. i want them to be faithful and love the Lord – and not just because it’s what their parents do. i want them to see the things that teenagers are attracted to (dating, sex, partying, idleness, slacking, etc.) for what they really are, and not just for the ‘fun’ they seem to be. i want them to be content with what they have – and not constantly trying to gain more and more worthless treasures or selfish pursuits. and i want them to be happy - not because of the things they have or the stuff they do, but REALLY, truly happy.
yes, i realize these are kind of lofty for children ranging in age from 18 months to 9 years old, but i’m thinking long-term here, not just right now.
but here lies the problem. having not possessed a lot of these qualities in the past, or even now, i have no idea how to instill them in my children. that, combined with the fires that are currently working against me on a daily basis, makes the situation seem utterly hopeless. but i’m not willing to give up. especially not on shane, although his age and his many ‘issues’ make this a very intimidating cause.
here’s to finding that fire extinguisher! or maybe a whole battalion.