September 15, 2010
Do your kids argue all the time? Mine do! It's is such a daily drain for me. I feel like I am constantly "preaching" at them! If they would just listen to me things would be so peaceful here.
One of my biggest struggles is dealing with their "lack of desire to work". Granted, there are a lot of people living in my house. There is always something that needs to be done. But, if everyone does not pitch in to do their share, then things fall apart quickly. My kids are young, but, I don't believe that they are too young to contribute to the family. I want them to be good workers. I want them to experience the joy and pride in a job well done. Each person has an important job to do. Right now I know it's a bother and a hassle to them, but, eventually, I hope it will be confidence builder. Also, the bible has nothing good to say about laziness. "Hard work means prosperity; only fools idle away their time." Proverbs 12:11
I also deal with intolerance very, very often. Kids tend to believe that they are the most important thing in the world. It's hard for them to put themselves aside for the benefit of someone else. Teaching tolerance requires walking a fine line. I have to be careful while I teach them to consider others that I don't send a message that they are of no importance, or less importance. I don't want to crush their self esteem, but, I also don't want them to have an attitude of entitlement either. I want to make it clear to them that there is no one who is better than them, but, they are not better than anyone else, either. Tolerance and respect go hand in hand. One sort of creates the other, or at least each creates an attitude that is conducive to practicing the other. Taking respect one step further, I try to teach them that while they should do their best to ignore the idiosyncrasies of others, they should show respect by trying not to be annoying to others. "Let us not become conceited, or irritate one another, or be jealous of one another." Galatians 5:26
I notice that when one of us loses our temper, it is like a domino effect. Everyone begins to raise the level of their voice and lower the level of their kindness. The key is trying to remove a "domino" before the whole set crashes down. I try to teach them that when things get escalated, they need to STOP! Take a few minutes to breathe and clear their minds of the conflict at hand before trying to resolve it. It takes practice. It takes consistency. But, it works! I try to stay in control and not let "the horse run away with the cart". It requires being patient, which is one of the most unnatural things for most of us. We all want what we want when we want it! But, patience often leads to peace. "It is better to be patient than powerful; it is better to have self-control than to conquer a city." Proverbs 16:32
I have some really good kids. Sure, they have their moments. But don't we all? I have to apply the things that I teach them to myself every single day. I still don't get it right all of the time. But, what I have on my side is a forgiving Father, and another day. "Forgive the rebellious sins of my youth; look instead through the eyes of your unfailing love, for you are merciful, O Lord." Psalm 25:7 "Oh, what joy for those whose rebellion is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!" Psalm 32:1-2