Thursday, July 10, 2014

Raising Children: The Root of the Problems

Sometimes I find I'm having some problems with my kids. Whether it's a behavioral problem or an attitude issue or just a logistics question, I often run into roadblocks on my mothering road. 
The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. Proverbs 29:15
I've found the root of these problems always come from one of two areas: something I'm doing or something I'm teaching (or not teaching!) the children.  A briefer way to say it would be to say that the problem is always me.

-Often I'm in a rut with logistics questions. How am I going to get "this" done? The answer is there but I don't want to change what's comfortable. It's also possible that I need to teach my children a new skill to either allow them to help or to engage themselves constructively while I complete a task. Asking questions is a great help here. Find a mom with older (or more) children and ask what she does. (Remember to find someone who is trying to follow God with her life. Be picky who you take advice from.)

-The attitude problem pops up more than I like to admit. And more often than not, this problem is with me. I've noticed that the boys will mirror my attitudes, good and bad. They respond in kind to my tone and actions. This is proving to be a great training ground for me.  It's a slow process so have patience. How long does it take you to change your attitude? Don't expect more than that from your children.  

We also get to choose how we view life circumstances. Choose to have a long-term viewpoint. For example, I have rather determined children, but I refuse to look at that as a bad thing. I believe that in twenty years when my boys are grown it will take a large dose of determination to serve God and I simply want to direct it the right way now. 

-The behavioral problem is usually something I'm tolerating. Now I run into some special points with Micah here but overall the concept is the same. Some kids are going to need more time to learn than others but they are teachable. Kids need to learn how to behave: to look people in the face and answer them when they are spoken to, to wait their turn. 

I've learned that after some prayer and thought I can generally prepare a plan of attack (discipline and training- the verse does say "rod and reproof." Don't just tell them what's wrong; teach them what's right.) for dealing with behavioral problems that proves pretty effective. These plans are a lot of work but my children deserve my effort in their training.  Justin and I were joking just last week that it would be a lot easier to complain about my kids on Facebook than actually do the work training them. Modern wisdom, right? 

The important thing to realize is that I can't hold my children responsible for their training. I have to be the adult. I am the one that will resolve the issues. It is not fair to expect my children to shoulder that responsibility at such young ages even though we already talk about what pleases God and why we do things a certain way. 

I always get to choose my attitude. I get to model that for my children and help them learn to choose the attitudes that honor God. My attitude needs to be one of responsibility. These children- and this home- are my direct responsibility and I need to be willing to search myself to correct problems that arise. 

What about you? Have you narrowed down the roots of the problems at your house? Have you noticed these same, or similar, patterns in your mothering?

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