“Point your kids in the right direction – when they’re old they won’t be lost.”
Proverbs 22:6 (MSG)
I read this fantastic article by Tasha Via a couple of months ago and have been sitting on it.
I also read this article recently when I was looking up information to help me with my almost-six-year-old.
We've had some excellent conversations in our small group since the majority of us have similar-aged kids. Conversations about how to help our kids, how to discipline our kids, and how to avoid letting our frustrations with our children bleed into our marriages.
I find myself at a loss on many days as to how to respond (not react) and how to love my babies in the best way possible - for them. I can love them the way I need to be loved or the way I think they need to be loved, but I want to be sensitive and attentive to their needs. I have to continually ask myself, "What's the best way they need for me to love them?"
I ran across this article the other day and it has expanded my prayers for my babies. I am striving to be more intentional in my prayers and more aware - I'm also trying to pray at least daily for those little blessings.
I had so many conversations with Xander this past week that were challenging for me. Challenging due to his persistent nature (and maybe due to some whining thrown in there), because of his sensitive heart, and because of difficult topics.
From Xander -
a) (Through tears) "I do not agree that Peyton Manning is the best quarterback. I think Cam Newton is the best."
b) "My friend, Nandhana, isn't a Christian, so she doesn't celebrate Christmas."
c) "I want a snack right now. I can't wait 15 minutes until lunchtime."
d) "What did Martin Luther King, Jr do? How come he died? Who killed him? Can I see what they look like?"
And my responses -
a) "You're entitled to your opinion. This is nothing to cry over. We don't have to agree on who the best quarterback is." (insert rolling of eyes here)
b) "There are lots of people in the world who aren't Christians and don't celebrate Christmas. We should pray for Nandhana. Maybe one day she'll have a relationship with Jesus just like you do!"
c) "There are many children who only get to eat once per day or even not at all. You've already eaten twice today and will probably eat a couple of more times! You need to be patient and wait for your lunch." (insert clenched fists and jaw here)
d) "Martin Luther King, Jr helped people to see that everyone is created equal - that all people deserve to be valued and respected. He died because someone disagreed with him and chose to kill him. James Earl Ray killed him - he assassinated him. Here, we can look up pictures of what they looked like." (insert tears here)
Sometimes I feel like everything that comes out of my mouth has to be a "teachable moment" kind of conversation. This makes everyday conversation difficult. I mainly want to make sure I'm not alienating my children because of my need to teach them. I want to have a good relationship with them and I don't know if I can do that if they only see me as "teacher." But then again, I know that being "teacher" is one of the biggest parts of my job as their mother.
This is an opportunity to go back to James 1:19. I pray that God would give me the wisdom to know when to listen much, speak little, and not get angry with my kids. And I need to rely on Him - the Master Teacher.
As I've been pondering these thoughts for a few days, and tweaking this blog post, I visited one of my favorite blogs that I haven't read in awhile.
I read this article and was blown away.
My dilemma is exactly what she is talking about! My kids are little so teachable moments are important and necessary, but some of the best moments come from just being with your kids. (Did you get my emphases there? Did I use enough italics?)
And that's what I want to cultivate and embrace with my children. Now it's time to just be.
"School is good and necessary, but in my heart I long for home."