Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Parenting Tips Interrupted

It strikes me as ironic that of the 15 parenting tips I have penciled out to add to this blog, none of them is particularly helpful to the parenting situation I find myself in right now. One of my children who honestly has not caused me much grief throughout his life is, well, causing me grief.

I better come clean: I am causing him an equal amount of grief, I think. Okay, more grief.

His sudden scatter-brained mind has turned my responsible child into Mr. Unreliable. This ordinarily obedient one is pushing limits - not direct defiance, just delaying or being silly a moment too long or not attending to my voice. The one child that I count on to NOT need much discipline now needs guidance of some sort or another. Further complicating matters are the struggles he is having with homework. He toils over that dumb weekly packet! His attempts at perfectionism drag homework out sooooo long. He has come to that place in his education where he has concluded that school is not actually fun but rather is just a bunch of hard work. And all I can think to do is raise my voice or tell him to hurry or lecture, lecture, lecture!

All that to say, I am clueless. Clueless and frustrated. And at the end of the day, I know two things: first, I know that if I continue in the way I am behaving toward him it will be certain disaster for his heart and our relationship. The second thing I know is that I don't know what to do instead.

And so this interruption in Parenting Tips is an admission. I don't know what I am doing any more than anyone else does. I have learned a boat load about parenting all along this journey but its the tip of an iceberg, a drop in the bucket. When it comes to days like today (and yesterday, and the day before), I end the day with a pit in my stomach knowing that I messed up again. Even worse, I knew better and lost my self-control anyway. I do what I do not want to do and don't do what I ought. At the end of the day I want to wake my sunny little boy up and ask for forgiveness just one more time. At the end of the day I am begging my Savior for forgiveness and wisdom and strength.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1John 1:9)

Purify me from this unrighteousness! Please, Lord. Please. Give me a heart like Yours. Give me a gracious spirit. Fill my mind with Your creativity as I encounter these situations over and over again. Be merciful to our family in this season.


Angie Tolpin said...

I found myself in the same peculiur situation today. How strange. Is there something in the water. I am finally at the end of my day and tomorrow I am feeling compelled to go back and apologize again bc I put him to bed so abruptly. I was at my witts end so to speak. Purify me as well Lord! Thank you for your post...

Hey and don't be too discouraged, when you post things, like "parenting tips" you can count on being challenged and tested with situations like these!

Eph 6- Ang

Ginger said...

Jenne, I hear ya! My girls were being soooo rude to one another and I was hot. I was at a loss to know what to do - to help them see the treasure that they have in one another. I lectured, then walked away because I was soooo hot. Then after I'd cooled off, and prayed, I didn't have a CLUE! what to do with them. So I walked in there and told them both that I didn't have a clue how to teach them to love eachother. So the three of us got together and held hands and prayed and I just admitted my weakness, asked for forgiveness for losing my cool, and just asked God to help me understand my girls,asked him to help me know what to do. And we left it at that. I still don't know what to do. But it felt so good to come clean with them and our heavenly Father. To just cry out to Him for wisdom, and teach the girls that we can go to Him when we don't know what to do.

Hang in there girl. I'll be praying for you too.
ps ~ I'm loving your tips! I remember you giving me the one about responding with the same intensitiy of emotion - when my kiddos were frustrated and couldn't get their seatbelts on. It TOTALLY helped!