When your child says no
When is the last time your child made you angry?
I have a son who is two, and we have moved into the stage of life where he is getting his own opinions. If you have been a parent for any amount of time you probably can empathize with me. That moment when your child goes from a smiling baby, to a toddler who is starting to understand more about the world. We have been blessed with such a happy and well-behaved boy. However, there are sometimes like every other child that he does not want to corporate.
When They Say No
A lot of times my anger towards him when he is being difficult is way more about me then it is about him. He is not doing what I wanted right then (This is not saying that we do not make our children do things they don’t want us to do. I am saying that when they rebel, what is my response, and why). Matthew 7:3-5 says, “ 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye”. Now once again I am not saying that we are not supposed to lead our children. What I am saying is for me a lot of times when I am getting frustrated at my son it is in result of my sin. I let my anger get the best of me and it makes it harder for me to be the Christ like example I am called to be. If I am getting on to my son for not being respectful, but I do so in a very disrespectful way, what is he learning?
You Might be reading this and think, ok… what is your point? My point is, from my very limited sample size as a parent, it is very easy to get frustrated and when I do I am become the opposite of what I want my child to emulate. So what do we do when are kids are not doing what they have been taught. For me I came up with 3 things.
Prepare: With anything you have to prepare properly in order to have success. We as parents need to be in the Bible daily connecting to God. If we want are children to act like Christ they have to see it from somewhere. There are going to be days where your son or daughter is doing all the wrong things, and if you have not set and thought about how to handle this. You are likely to handle it out of anger or frustration. However, if we take moment out of our day and read the word, and think about our children, and talk to them to get to know them better. When a situation presents itself, we then are better prepared.
Pray: This second one goes hand in hand with the first. We as parents need to be praying for our children. Every day we should be lifting them up. I can not tell you what to pray for, but I can tell you that it is important to pray for the. You also need to pray for yourself. We have to constantly ask God to fill us with strength and patience. Our children will try and test us, but we are called to be the example, we are called to be like Christ.
Patience: As parents we are teachers. Our children will not always get it right, but we have to be patient with them as they learn. This does not mean we are soft and let them walk all over us, but we are patient. I think I take for granted sometimes that the things I know I learned from somewhere. In the same way before I get frustrated at my child doing things the wrong way. I need to remember that my parents were here at some point teaching me what right looks like. We as parents are called to walk this life with our children holding their hand and showing them what could trip them up.
Our children our learning and growing every day, but they are not perfect. They are going to mess up, but the question as a parent is how do we handle it? We can get mad or frustrated, or we can patiently teach them what it means to be a Christlike man or woman for the rest of their lives.