Teenagers, Tweens, and Toddlers… Oh my!

Some days I really don’t like my job.  I mean, I love the people I work with, although they do tend to be a little demanding, and rarely show any appreciation.  Also they are a little on the whiny side.  They stress me out and worry me to death and almost never do what they are told.  Yep, I am a MOM.  And I wouldn’t change a thing.  They are imperfect little reminders of my own sin nature.  Yes, they are imperfect.  Just like their mom.  So the things that make me the most frustrated with them are the very things that frustrate me about ME.   And trying to get to the character root of the behavior issues requires time, consistency, and patience… All areas I am sorely lacking in.  But it is their hearts I am after, not just “good” behavior.

So, when the 3 year old darling starts picking fights with me, I must discipline myself to remain calm, loving, patient, and firm….

And when the 13 year old beauty acts like a beast to her little brother, I must remind her to be kind, and that words are for building, not tearing down…

And when brothers fight and aggravate (a constant in our home), I must not allow my own anxiety level to rise with theirs…

And when the 16 year old drives away I must remember Whose he is and turn my worries into prayers instead of lectures about speed limits, school zones and crossing guards… (I actually gave the same lecture to Chandler 3 times this morning, and even followed him to the car.  He just grinned in that “Ok, Mom, I got it.” way.  He seems more grown up than me somedays.)

I guess this morning, what I am thinking about is this: It is Me, Myself, and I that need the discipline… Because if I can discipline myself, then cultivating their character will come a little more naturally.  If I can choose a God-parent perspective instead of a Kari perspective then the heart issues are clearer and the less-than-perfect behavior is recognized as a mere symptom.  Maybe by the time they are grown I’ll have it all figured out.  With this many kids I’ll have plenty of opportunity to practice!

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