I wrote the first post two months ago so it’s high time that I post an update.
I didn’t want to write anything on day two because I failed on day two. It was a miserable day. But the enemy knew what plans I had. He was ready to fight and I wasn’t. I didn’t have an arsenal stockpiled. I had no back up plans or alternatives. So, when tragedy struck, as it often does around here, I was helpless and quickly defeated. 😞
I wish I could say it’s been easy and perfect, but it hasn’t. It also hasn’t been as hard as I had expected either. Not long after I figured out what was wrong and made a game plan to change it, things started imploding. I got down on my knees and begged God for help, (not the first time nor the last), I called my Church’s Prayer Chain, texted my Grandma for prayer, and opened my Bible. I began praying scripture out loud, asking God for clarity, copying scripture into my journal, and pausing. If something sparked anger, I would pause before reacting and therefore I would instead, RESPOND. It changed everything. God changed everything. All of a sudden I had the answers I’d been searching for!
If you want a bullet point, I’ll give you one.
•When a spill happens, breathe in, breathe out, and ask God to show you the best way to manage the clean up.
•Remember that if “it” isn’t life-threatening, then for goodness’ sake it ISN’T LIFE-THREATENING!!! Take a chill pill!
•If your child back-talks or disrespects you in any form, do not dismiss it or delay dealing with it. But do take a breath, pause, pray, and immediately get face to face with them.
For me, this meant there would be no physical discipline. If my child was angry and not wanting contact, I would gauge their responsiveness and decide how to proceed. Since my girls are five and under, I don’t allow them a no-contact right. I scoop them up, hold them close and talk gently and softly about how much I love them, how they hurt me, how and why respect is important, and what I expect from them in the future. We talk about what happened that caused the disrespect and we talk about how it should have been handled. Words are important. I use these bad situations as teachable moments. My girls are learning to use words to build up, comfort, and bring joy rather than pain and destruction.
•I speak to them the way I want them to speak to me. Simple and the only exception being that I will speak sternly when they’re about to break a rule or endanger themselves or others. THIS HAS BEEN THE HARDEST CHANGE OF ALL… Remember from my first post that I was not respecting their personhood. And for that matter, I wasn’t respecting their Father’s personhood either. I have found the more I respect him, the more the kids respect me and him also. If I don’t want to be belittled, I shouldn’t belittle others. And if someone treats me badly, it doesn’t give me the right to retaliate. If I practice this, my children will LEARN it!
More to come.