Friday, February 24, 2012

Parenting perseverance

I've been wanting to blog about our new learning materials we've gotten (and overcoming some learning mishaps), but every time I try to write it, I get writer's block and it sends into fits of crying and pulling out random hairs from my head.

Ok, that's not really true, but I am having a hard time for some reason. When I sat down to write today, all that was on my mind was the stress from the morning.

We hadn't had a play date all week with any friends, and Fridays are usually our play date days. I was looking forward to our date at the mall with our friends, and the boys were too.

Let me just preface this with this fact, Jude is going through this phase right now that...let's just say it's a hard phase. Sometimes I feel like I'm living with a teenager. He has an attitude problem, he smarts off, and doesn't want to do anything we say. Of course this is not something we like to tolerate. And I will be very honest here. There are times I am really on top of training him on his attitude and there are times when I'm so weary of the daily things that consume me that I get lax on the training and we end up in the place we are in now. Super attitude-y, super rebellious, super smart mouth-y. (you like my super technical terms?)

So today, we meet our friends at the mall. Jude and I had a talk beforehand where I told Jude he needed to listen and obey, and I had him repeat it back to me. We always have this conversation every time we go somewhere. Sometimes he does great and listens, other times, not. Like today. I don't think he listened to one thing I said. Maybe that's an exaggeration, after all, we did get home in one piece. But maybe it just felt that way. Chaotic, stressful, exhausting. Not fun. And Ezra was not listening either. I felt bad that my friend had to be witness to such a stressful outing, and I even thanked her for dealing with my current "baggage." She was sweet about it. But I did tell her that we wouldn't be able to do any more dates out (other than at each other's houses) until the boys and I had some time to work on this not listening issue. It's just too stressful!

For Ross and I, its not near enough to just train him to correct his behavior or for him to just act the way we want him to. I don't think dealing with the exterior is enough. Although, having great behavior is a good thing, it's not ALL there is. I think it's important to get to the heart of the issue. What in his heart is causing him to act this way? The issues of the heart are complex, and even more so for a little one who doesn't understand the depth of such things. In the car after we left, I prayed that God would show me how to get to the root of this issue, and that He would help me parent accordingly. And of course that He would give Jude a joyful heart; after all, I can't change his heart, only Jesus can.

As I reevaluate my current parenting methods, or more like the lack thereof, I know I need to train more purposefully. This attitude business is not good, and I have not been consistent in the training for this behavior/heart issue.  Being consistent is the most effective parenting method out there, but it is a hard thing to do some times. Most of the time, I don't know what to do as a Mom, but when I ask God for wisdom, He gives me what I need every time.

I don't have all the answers, but truthfully, I don't think parenting was meant to be exhausting or stressful. I know it is hard, the hardest job we will probably ever do, and even frustrating at times. But a wise parenting book I read once said that God makes nothing complicated. I really believe that. So, I will persevere.

The end. Thanks for listening to me talk to helps, you know. :)
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