Monday, January 2, 2012

Loving him through it (a Caleb story)

This was supposed to be a New Years post.  A post where I lay out my New Years goals.  But instead I will give you a peek inside our house today.

Our oldest is struggling, and has been for a few days.  I'm not sure why exactly.  It could be that he was overindulged during Christmas.  Maybe it is the 3 molars he is getting in.  Or maybe he is feeling the pressure of being the oldest of 7.  Jim and I, as his parents, have a responsibility to walk him through his tough times and relieve any burden that is too heavy to bear.  But in the end it is Caleb's choice to walk in the way that is right or to turn from it.  In my opinion that may be the greatest love of will.

Today he has told me when and how he will do his school, how much he will do and when he is done.  Back in the day I would have bowed up and we would have had a throw down.  But now that I am older and wiser (poor Asher doesn't stand a chance!), I can keep the end goal in mind.  To teach his young, foolish heart (yes, I just called my boy foolish).  It used to be that I needed to be heard NOW!  I wanted an instant consequence for his action.  But now I've learned how much more effective it is when it is done at the right time.

Caleb ended up in the infamous Grandma's room.  After a while I walked in and asked if he was ready to obey.  He said yes and did.  But I found that he had got into the diaper bag and squirted desitin all over the clothes that needed to be folded.  So I called him in and he told me he did that because he was mad.  No problem.  Just bring out any of the clothes that have destine on it and fold the rest.  FIREWORKS!!!!  Oh  man he was mad.  And he told me he was NOT going to do it!!!  OK just hang out in Grandma's room until you are ready to.

30 min and a little complaining later I have a basket of folded clothes.  Now he is sitting beside me serenading me with the mandolin and he even made me a snack!  This is so much better than getting into a power struggle!

I know a lot of you are out there dealing with a strong willed child (or a hurt child).  God love them they are hard to parent!  I remember thinking I will do the work!  I just have no idea what to do!!  I could give you books that helped and tell you how I do it here (which I'd be happy to do) but the best thing I can tell you, is to pray and ask God to help you parent this child.  He knows the very depths of their heart and only He can give you wisdom into their behavior and how to reach their heart!

Happy parenting,
from a mom right there in the trenches with you

While writing this he asked me to call his best friend next door and I quietly and sympathetically told him that I wouldn't do that.  That he had had a hard time with self control so today he was going to have to stay inside.  Back in the day I would have thrown that in his face as soon as he disobeyed; as a punishment.  Trying to manipulating him into obeying me, only to make him more angry...not accomplishing anything.  But now I watched as remorse spread across his face (and a little anger).  And as much as I want to swoop in and make it better I know that this hurt is good.  It's the hurt that will help him make a better decision next time.

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