Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"I hate you!" (updated)

Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it.  Proverbs 22:6

How's your day going?  Well since you asked, not too good.

So far today I have taken a Leapster away, My Little Ponies and Baby Dolls away from a very angry five year old little girl. Originally I was just going to remove one thing but she didn't seem to care and she only got worse.  She has screamed at me and said some pretty ugly things that I never thought she would say.  I feel defeated.  But I know I am doing the right thing as far as her discipline goes.  Training and disciplining children is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.  26.2 miles is a BREEZE!  This is hard!

Just wanted to post this so you would know you are not alone in your parenting troubles.  We all have days like this.  Even while typing this I have heard my daughter scream from her room "I hate you."  My sons have never said this.  Actually no one has ever said this to me. But somehow our daughters learn to say that which hurts the most.  I thought this would come later in her life.  I did not expect it at 5 1/2. 

Soon she will calm down and I can love on her and hold her but right now I am going to enforce distance between us until she can calm down.  I pray I can teach her how important it is to think before you speak and how you can rely on Christ to help you get control of your emotions.  Emotions are a tough thing for a girl so I pray God can give me tools to help her.  If not, thirteen will be HELL.

Deep breaths,



Her things are still in time out and she will have to earn them back but in the midst of her melt down, I decided to comfort her.  She was crying so hard that she was making that funny noise unable to even speak without crying more so I said "Can I hold you?" and she agreed.  If  it weren't for the Family Devotion we have been having every night, I don't know if I would have been prepared to even walk through this situation.  Thankfully the Holy Spirit guided me.

Sending our kids to their room and punishing without showing them love and understanding won't really do anything but separate us from our kids.  So Jeremy and I always try to follow up with a talk filled with love and affection.  As I was holding her I told her I was going to pray.  I just asked kept telling the Lord in my prayer how thankful I was for a daughter and how special she was to me and I asked him to help us both learn how to communicate and understand each other.  After I finished praying, she was visibly better.  I could see joy had returned to her face.  Then I felt like I could talk to her without her interrupting and becoming angry.  After sharing four things with her that I knew the Holy Spirit had given me in that moment (I had asked him to give me words as I spoke), she hugged me and told me she loved me.  Here are the things I shared.  Of course I had a lot more words and I explained more in detail to her but here are the cliffs notes.

1. "I am so thankful God gave me a daughter.  I love how passionate you are about serving others and how good you are at helping me with everything around the house.  I love how much fun you are to be around.  I love that we can always be best friends in life and do everything together.  That's what moms and daughters do!"  (Yes, I believe our children can be our closest friends.  I did not know how I viewed that until Sally Clarkson's books and I do believe we are to be friends with our children.  They can be our best friends in life!)

2. "Of course I forgive you Ava Beth.  Just because I discipline you does not mean that I do not love you.  I will always forgive you."

3. "God forgives you.  When you have melt downs like this and say ugly things to someone you love, you need to ask for his forgiveness because like we have talked about in family devotion, it hurts God when you do not obey and respect the authority in your life."  Romans 13

4. "When you feel yourself getting angry and wanting to say ugly things, try to STOP and ask the Lord to help you with your anger.  I haven't always done this Ava Beth and I have hurt Daddy and other people with my words.  Learn to go into your room and take deep breaths or maybe write in your journal."

We hugged, kissed and things have been better!

It's only a matter of time, maybe minutes before I have to address her or another child again. But I am so thankful and so blessed because I get to be here with them each and every day for moments like this.  Moms and Dads are the best people in our children's lives to teach them and God uses these situations constantly in my OWN life to teach me.

We have to be PRESENT for these opportunities to come!

In this day and age, Moms and Dads are constantly looking for fulfillment outside of the home.  I feel I can talk about this because I used to be one of those Moms.  One big area I see this happening is within "ministry".  One of my best friends told me the other day that she saw on facebook a status update that went like this.

"Women's Bible Study on Tuesday night, John's football practice Wednesday night, worship team Thursday night, dinner with friends Friday night!  Gonna be a crazy week but Praise God!" 

Really?  Praise God?  It's sad how we have filled our schedules with "Good things" while believing they are all "God things".  This is a sore subject with many but again since I have LIVED a life of ministry outside of my home, I can say this.  There are seasons we need to be at home with our families.  And the more you bring things into your schedules, the more separation you put between you and your children.  I wish the church as a whole would stop pushing "Community" and start pushing "FAMILY".  We CANNOT serve the community when our families are being neglected because of church obligations.  This is happening not because people have a LOVE for reaching out to others (sometimes it is), this is happening because the church is teaching us to go out and serve or come to the church and serve.  It is not teaching us to STAY AT HOME and eat dinner with your family five nights a week.  

We live in a day and age where people are scheduling family time instead of scheduling church, sports or hobby time.  Family gets put in there last.  This grieves my spirit so much.  I write this and risk others being upset with me but I feel like this is something that is hurting families.  We were once this family.  I can't blame my husband either.  It was all because of me.

Before you commit to one more ministry, Bible study or extra curricular activity, look at home and see if Family is the MAIN thing.  If it isn't, then whatever you are doing WILL NOT flourish.  You will have seasons when your children are older and you are able to do those things you have a longing to do.  Until then, the Lord can give you joy beyond measure by serving your family.  And if you Homeschool, don't buy into the lie that because you "Homeschool" you are putting your family first.  You can Homeschool your children and still be missing the point.  I did!  Every night I was gone running, serving, singing, whatever, I justified it.  Then when I did begin to pull away and say no to events, I was criticized by other Christians.  I was accused of not loving people. I was accused of being selfish.  I was accused of  even not having a relationship with God.  But I can honestly say that because of the obedience and sacrifice, MY FAMILY IS FLOURISHING.  

1 Timothy 5:8 (New Living Translation)

8 But those who won’t care for their relatives, especially those in their own household, have denied the true faith. Such people are worse than unbelievers.


Kelly Ann said...

YAY for not being alone!! Thank you for sharing the highs AND the lows!! Love you!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this today...I have a 5 yr. old daughter, as well, and let's just say that we have started to have our moments! She is wonderful and I love her so much but you are right, disciplining her is the hardest thing I have ever done! I have another daughter(and a son and another baby!) coming along behind her and watching everything so I have to be so prayerful!! Anyway, thanks so much for sharing this and also for the reminder that our ministry should first of all, begin in our family! :)

Kelly said...

Amen! Our family is our ministry... God given, and the only people we are accountable for spiritually. Love this post!
(And I can sooo relate to the girl melt downs, and 5 is exactly when it started. Girls are so delightful, and their hearts are so passionate, that when they are frutrated it is a whole lot of stuff tumbling out. I wouldn' trade it for anything though- I learn so much from working through things with them. Unfortunately I also learn a lot about areas I need to work on too:-)

Amanda said...

Thank y'all so much for your comments. This afternoon she had another break down and it was like our long talk and prayer never happened. Makes me think about how Christ must have felt with the disciples, especially Peter. Then while jeremy was out for his run she flipped on me and began the door slamming. He heard it and took the door off the hinges and put it into garage. I would rather face this now than later. Jeremy prayed tonight during family devotion that (ab was not a part of dinner tonight but ate in her room because she would not calm down) God would give us wisdom on how to handle these things. I feel like we r doing right but it just takes CONSISTENCY. So hard! I snuck away to the bath tub and that is how I'm posting this comment via blackberry. :)

Kate said...

yes - consistency baby - consistency. it's like swimming in mud but it does pay off later. i'm finally seeing the fruit from those hard days. not that it's all roses, but it's so worth the "obedience and sacrifice". they will flourish!

i just love reading your blog. YOU are flourishing my dear friend.

V. said...

Good words today Amanda - keep your head (and eyes) UP!

Erin said...

LOVE the part about church and family! Totally something I have felt in my spirit, but couldn't put into words. It bothers me that others try to make you feel guilty for not serving, etc, but there is a season for everything!

Elizabeth said...

I needed to hear this today. We have been really struggling with our son lately. He is a VERY strong-willed individual and it wears on me, bug time!! Thanks for the wonderful example you gave of what you said to your daughter. I need to get better at speaking those things over my son in moments like these!

Kelly said...

Bless your heart, I love that you are willing to share the hard days as well as the "good" ones. Our girls have lost doors, and even the bathroom door for fighting over the sink, which then meant they had to go down the hall to the family bath for privacy. It is hard, SO hard, and I can feel overwhelmed and defeated, because I love them so much and I don't want it to feel the way it does sometimes. But you are doing such a great job, fighting for your kids and their spiritual maturity... God will never leave you to fight the battle alone. Hugs and prayers for you:-)

Kim said...

It is hard and we often feel so alone in these struggles! Those flip-out sessions are beyond draining. You are so right in consistency and recognizing that this whole parenting thing is a process that God uses to sanctify them ... and us! You are doing a great job. There is not one single solitary thing that has challenged me and blessed me as much as raising daughters! Thank you for sharing, Amanda.