Yes, listen to me because I’ve clearly got it all figured out. Nodda. Ak-coosh-y (How Cyrus says actually) I do not have it all figured out and anyone who is apart of my life can concur BUT I’ve been extremely encouraged lately and I thought I’d share.
My husband and I like to take the kids out. Did you know we have four kids? Ha! Yes, it’s true but we’ve been extremely blessed by these outings, especially lately. I started wondering why and here’s a blog post on what I’ve come to conclude.
Within 5 days, we took the kids out to a restaurant, to the mall and one other place and we were complimented on how well behaved everyone was and how well we handled conflict. Do you know encouraging that was? Extremely. So before I move on, if you see a mother who maybe doesn’t seem to have it all together but you see her efforts and love, please oh please tell her and encourage her. She’ll be forever thankful. Promise.
Okay, back to what’s been working for us. So, you know that every child is different. You either know this from experience or you know this because people tell you often. Well, it’s very true and so with each child, different consequences or privileges being taken away have different effects on them…differently.
Without going into too much detail on how I discipline every child differently, I will say this. Do not underestimate the power of talking through what your child did and why it was hurtful in a calm manner. Your child will feel loved because you took the time to explain why what they did was wrong. Showing them how to do it better or telling them how they could have said something more kindly is extremely helpful. At first, you may have to do this often but eventually, a quick reminder will be all you need.
This aligns well with reading the bible to your kids. You can gently remind them a verse, or a part of a verse that you read and apply it to what they did or didn’t do. If you do this in anger, you’re just adding to the problem. I’ve been there and it goes no where good.
Also, following through with a consequence or taking a privilege away has been huge for us. If one of my kids disobeys while we’re out and by the time we get home I’m just too exhausted and assume they’ve already forgotten, I have only back tracked. Been there, done that. But when I take the time to talk to them reminding them what they did or didn’t do and follow through with the consequence, as exhausting as that is, it pays back in future obedience and smoother outings.
*Side note, if your kids are really young (for us that is 3 and younger) sometimes the consequence needs to be right then and there. Privileges being taken away starts around 3.5 for us. Time out or a quick spankin’ (when Zeke runs in the road…sigh) works well for that age in our home.
And with all “diets” we need a little grace. Can I get an AMEN!? We need grace from each other. From one momma to another, we love our kids and we try our best. Let’s be “for” each other and not quick to judge. It’s silly and gives room for Satan to turn us into enemies when what we really need is love, encouragement and grace.
Another time when grace is needed for me and the kids is when we’re out and about. For us this is church, life group, public play areas or the times when friends come over. I’m not on my A game during this time because I may not be in my own home, I may have other responsibilities and I want to be able to enjoy those around me. This goes for the kids as well. Sometimes, they’re just too busy enjoying the extra attention that they are receiving and may forget to obey. And that’s okay. I want them to enjoy these times, too. Usually an outing will have a follow up talk in the car ride home on why something they did wasn’t okay or I’ll thank them for doing so well. Either way, grace is extremely important.
If you’re parenting with love and grace throughout the day, these outings are not so bad. And even when they go sour, it’s okay! You can give yourself grace and maybe just think on how things can go a little better next time. Let God pour his grace down on us as we try our best to raise our kids into the adults God has called them to be. He’s given us grace, now let’s receive it and give it to other mommas as well.
*An imperfect momma feeling encouraged and sharing what’s working. That’s all