Sunday, November 9, 2008

How would YOU answer?

My good friend, Ginger, asked me a GREAT question inside the following email:

You know my kids are FAR from perfect. But today we were at the end of the soccer season pizza party, and my kids were being really good. (for a nice change.) They were staying seated where I asked, they were eating with their utensils, etc... in stark contrast to MANY of the other kids who were running around like TV stars from "Nanny 911". One of the Moms said to me, "I don't know how you do it." Soooooooo, My question is.... What do you say to that?

I was REALLY blessed to think about this overnight, so before I give my answer, I thought I would give you the same opportunity. I would love your comments, of course, but at the very least, give this some thought and then come back in a day or so if you want to hear how I answered (I don't promise it to be life-changing or anything, just something to read).


Ginger@chirgies said...

My friend Katy, over at Sweet Fragrance said:
"I used to think about this ALOT 'cause we would get similar questions as well. My usual response is "I just couldn't stand it any other way. I wanted to like my kids as well as love them." But, recently I've been convicted. Really, without God, could we do it at all? That's really what they need to hear.
Maybe you and I can purpose when someone asks or comments that we say something like "I'm know I couldn't do it without God." Something like that. I always try not to be to "preachy" or us too many 'Christianeez" phrases. Just something light yet not watered down either.

Ginger@chirgies said...

Dani's response was:
"I used to say, "Well they have their moments." Until a very dear friend of mine who had raised a wonderful son said, "Dani, if your kids hear you say that, it's discounting their good behavior." So now I just say, "Believe me, I have made mistakes, but I am very blessed to have these four little people."

My hope it that this points out my mistakes and not that of my children, (for we know that these children who need Nanny 911 are not at fault for their behavior) and hopefully being "Blessed" sets us apart from being "lucky". I also don't feel like I am taking the credit for the Lord's grace on our less then perfect parenting. Sometimes this is a good enough answer, and sometimes it leads to an open door.....that open door has lead some very "Truthful" conversations.

I have also learned to share my "proudest moments" with those who love my children with the love of Christ. I have found that those who don't, tend to watch closely and intently for my children to misbehave and fail. They are also quick to point out their shortcomings. Which then leads to biting my tongue until it is numb, so I don't react like the mother bear I am fast transforming into."

Ginger@chirgies said...

And Anna said,
"I have received similar
responses and I often walk away thinking, "Should I have said more? Did I plant a seed?"
Some things that I have said in the past are, "We try to focus on training our kids." This is not
out right witnessing but they may ask further questions about how you train your kids. This would
open the door to sharing Christ. Another simple way to answer might be, "I couldn't do it without
God's help." I have to admit I think I have only said that once. I pray for more boldness often. Another common comment I have gotten, which I am sure you do also is, "Your kids are so well behaved. It is so nice to see that these days." In this case, I often use it as a teaching moment for the kids. I want them to hear me praise them so I will often say, "Yes, they are good kids. They are blessings." When the
person walks away, I try to always point out to the kids that their behavior is a light to those around them and that their good behavior blesses people and other notice a difference. Then I usually thank the kids for doing so well. I hope this helps. You have got me thinking about becoming more bold.