Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Thanks For Hanging in There for My Vent

I have always wanted to be gracious towards other parents, and as I was rereading my former post, I realize that it was more of a vent than an encouragement! Hopefully I didn't hurt or offend anyone.

God has really just been humbling me lately as a parent, and showing me how much I NEED HIM! My little guy missed his nap today, and we went grocery shopping instead....not always a smart idea. He did great, but when we got home, he was a bit stare crazy so I took him to the park at our apartments. He rode his tricycle as usual, and we were doing fine until we were on our way home, in the parking lot, and a car needed to back up. I told my little guy, "Uh, oh, car backing up, we need to move!" and he did not budge. Instead, he said, "no, it's not!" Yes, this is little man. He is very much like his daddy. Don't ask him to do something if he does not feel that there is a logical reason to do it. :-) I realized this recently, and I have started to rephrase my requests to "You need to, or mommy will help you," rather than giving him an explanation right then. Anyways, long story short, little man dug in his heals until I was forced to pick up him and his trike and move him to the side of the parking lot...and a massive fit ensued. Yes, for the whole apartments to see... I sat in the grass with him and held him while the fit went on and on and on...not at all typical behavior for my little guy.

Public fits really bring out the humanity in me. I was embarrassed and so tempted to be harsh and punitive. I did not look to God for help as I should have. The fit finally slowed and I told my son, "Listen to mommy first, and when you are not mad, we can return to your trike." He finally decided to listen, and calmed himself. I talked with him about how important it is to listen to me because I love him and am trying to take care of him...I wonder how much he really understood, because when I since looked back on the situation, I saw a myriad of factors that affected my son's behavior: lack of sleep, hunger, fear of losing his trike, fear of his big feelings. I do not regret standing my ground, but I wish that I would have in a gentler spirit, trusting God, instead of worrying about the neighbors. Initially, I tried to reason with my tired tot to get him to move out of the way; in retrospect, I should have said, firmly and kindly, "You need to move now, or else mommy will pick you up and move you," and followed through...we might have avoided what turned into a "showdown", adversarial type situation. Ugh, sometimes I hate the way I handle things. To make matters worse, kids are SO forgiving, so quick to go back to loving their mommies and daddies after rocky times.

I just realize how important it is for me to be gracious towards other mommies!  God always uses little situations like tonight to humble me, to keep me from being judgmental, and to remind me to rest in His strength, to trust in His guidance.

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