Saturday, September 14, 2013

Guest Blog: Wild Child

Baby A is a bit of a wild child and sometimes I get so discouraged. Somedays, I feel I am doing EVERYTHING wrong. When a friend posted this blog on facebook, I had to check it out. When I clicked on it, I found that it was Courtney from Women Living Well.

Courtney is one of my favorite bloggers so I knew it would be helpful and it was. If you are a bit discourage with your little one, take this time to read this encouraging article. - Rejoicing in the present.

Parenting a Wild Child

Disney silly face 2

My son was 2 years old when my daughter was born.  Every time I sat down to nurse my newborn baby, he began stomping on books and tearing the room apart.  I was at a loss –how do I nurse this little one all day long, while my son is so out of control.  I started buying parenting books by the dozen. lol!

I tried every method and technique under the sun to reign my little guy in.  My heart was to raise children that would be a blessing to this world…but by the age of 4 it was clear that my little guy was not a blessing to his peers or teachers.  He was aggressive and uncooperative.

In the following years, I would have lots of talks in the hallway at church with other parents, teachers, and even the Director of Children’s Ministry about my son’s behavior. {blush} SO embarrassing.  And I cried…a lot.  And I prayed…a lot.  And I read a ton of books…a lot.  And I taught and trained and disciplined and yelled…a lot.

And then I started blogging.  I could write on loving our children, teaching them to read God’s word or life happenings with them.  But I was not about to act like an expert in this area.  I wrote mostly on reading your Bible and marriage. I felt more secure in those areas.  And when I talked about motherhood – I focused on working on me or loving our children or I used guest posters who seemed to be doing it well.

So I blogged…fearful with how things would turn out with this boy.  I mentioned from time to time that my boy was agressive or a hand full but I wanted to be careful that I did not disrespect him in my writing.  (My son has read today’s post and given me permission to share my struggles with you all today.)

I remained consistent at home. Loving my boy. Disciplining my boy. Praying for my boy.  Bonding with my boy.  Working hard on gentleness as a mother and learning to control my temper.  I lived out what I wrote on my blog.  It was two steps forward one step back.

Years passed – (almost 5 years have passed since I began blogging) and now my little boy is ten!  This year, for the first time, I am seeing real fruit of my labor.  Glimmers of amazing selflessness, love, kindness, generosity, sensitivity, obedience, respect and maturity are revealing themselves.  I marvel – who is this boy that Sunday School teachers praise?  Who is this boy that other moms say their son is so blessed by?  Who is this boy that coaches enjoy?  Where did he come from?  All the things I had hoped my 2 year old would exhibit – my 10 year old is finally getting.
And now I have perspective.  This is what I’ve learned:

First… 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 year old boys are NOT adults –and they are not going to act like adults — how silly of me to have hoped to have birthed an adult! Duh! Why did I hold such high ideals? They crushed both of our spirits.

Second, all those judgemental eyes freaked out this girl with high ideals!  I stamped myself a failure at this “boy mom thing” and let others – {strangers} - define my motherhood…based on our worst moments.  I remember complaining to an older Titus 2 woman in our church about how bad of a mom I was.  She said to me,
“Courtney, are your children well fed, clean, clothed, listened too, loved, hugged and taught about Jesus?  Then you are a good mom.”
What? You mean – I can be a good mom based on what I am doing behind closed doors –not on how my child behaves in public?  That just did not register with this mommy brain.  I felt the only measurement for my mommyhood was how my child behaved.

My husband kept telling me to not worry about what others think.  He was right.
Third, fear will make you do crazy stuff…yell, scream, say harsh words, threaten, –it makes you desperate to get through to your kids. I regret how fear made me act.  It’s ugly and it’s prideful!  Oh have mercy! Fear held me back big time! And God says – Without faith it’s impossible to please him.(Hebrews 11:6)
So this is my conclusion:
Motherhood is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.
We will not train our children for life all during the pre-school days.  It’s a minute by minute, hour by hour, daily, yearly process and we must be patient.  We must do the right things at home where no one can see.   Read God’s word to them, love them, kiss them, nourish them and discipline them over and over and over and over.  And in time, the fruit of our labor will begin to show.
With my little wild child — it has taken what feels like an eternity for my “behind closed doors” training to reveal itself “in public”.  But even if it had not revealed itself this year – that does not make me a bad mom. It makes me a NORMAL mom!!!  It makes me a prideful mom because seriously –the desire to look like a “good mom” to others is just my pride –ugly.
Galatians 6:9 says “Do not grow weary in doing good for in due season you will reap a harvest IF you do not give up!”
Dear weary mommy, do not give up. Keep sowing the seeds of righteousness in your children’s lives.  The fruit of your labor is coming!  I can’t tell you when you will see it – but I now know that those talks and tears out in the hallway with Sunday School teachers and those embarrassing moments at the McDonald’s slides…those were a part of the journey.  I had to go through them to help me readjust what I was doing at home behind closed doors.  I had to go through them so I would be driven to my knees in prayer for my boy rather than try to do it all on my own strength.  I had to go through them…so I would understand what other mommies go through.  I had to go through them so I would NOT act like an expert.

And so I’m not – I’m no expert here.  My boy still has a long road ahead as do I (–and please if you know us, don’t hold my boy to too high of a standard, he is still just 10 and maturing. I am not saying we’ve arrived. lol!)

But that fear –that black cloud that hung over my parenting woes. – It has lifted and I give praise to God today that he has heard my prayers and answered my cries.

Are you raising a wild child?  Pray. Read Proverbs. Read the Bible out loud to your children.  Do not lean on your own wisdom.  Ask a Titus 2 woman for help or advice. Read good books and blogs by older women whose children are raised.

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