I noticed that after my husband watches my son for an extended period, the little guy usually comes back to me with a better attitude. This has happened on a number of different occasions, so the other day, I approached hubby and asked him what his secret was.
He commented that he doesn't focus his eyes on the immediate fix, instead he focuses on the end product.
It wasn't a profound statement but it was something that clicked with me. I know I've heard it before, I'm sure I've read it a thousand times but THAT time it spoke to me.
As you may know, I live with fibromyalgia and one of the big symptoms of it is nerve pain. When I'm having a bad fibro day, my nerves are SHOT. Thus, when my child cries or wines, it literally hurts my body. So, I tend sometimes to just focus on the immediate fix.
How do I get her to stop crying? Pick her up, soothe her, rock her...?
Why is he whining? Give it to him? Shut him up? Discipline out of anger because I'm annoyed? How do I respond?
Many times I don't respond right. This is why my husband's comment was so valuable. It reminded me to not look at the quick fix. Not to just "get them to be quiet," but to decide what I want in the end and to slowly pursue that goal.
This may mean that I need to move my whinny child to another room until he can ask properly for the item or so that I can calm down before I discipline him.
It also may mean that I need to turn off the baby monitor while my child is crying herself to sleep. She is learning to self-soothe and I have to be able to give her those tools that will help her in life.
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Parenting is a race, not the 100-yard dash, but a marathon. It takes LOTS of patience and comes with many trials and weights. We have to put those aside and look to Jesus.
We have to see the goal, the finish line, and keep our eyes set on that. We can't throw our hands up, fall down and cry when life gets us down. We have to focus our minds on what we want and persevere to the end.
If our eyes are on Jesus and the goals He has for us, it makes it a little easier to respond to our children even when it's hard.
Maybe that means that you need to take a breather and walk away for a second.
Don't hand it to your child right away.
Whatever it is, go against your instinct for the quick fix. In the long run, it will be worth it. - Rejoicing in the Present