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Devotionals

Your Words Can Change Your Child's Attitude


I decided to try something different today with my little guy. For the past two weeks he has been the whiniest little thing, and there is absolutely nothing that irks me more than a whiny child. That's it...I had had enough. Something had to change.

I noticed earlier this week that I had been saying "oh my word, you are acting like such a baby!" to him. Over, and over, and over, and over. And eventually it would turn into "oh wow, you are such a baby right now!". Horrible, I know, but I was so incredibly annoyed beyond comprehension. For the first time in motherhood, I literally did not want to deal with my child because I was completely beyond annoyed at this point. But, I knew that this was going to be a learning experience for both of us....I just didn't know how. I knew what I was saying to him was wrong, but I just didn't care. Isn't that horrible? As a parent, I just didn't care. I allowed my own annoyances to get in the way. And in all honesty, it didn't help him be any less whiny! Click here to

So today I tried something new. Instead of telling my child how much of a baby he was acting like, I decided to remind my child that hes a big boy, and that he is amazing at doing big boy things. Like riding his bike, making his bed, putting his dirty dishes in the sink, singing, doing his school work. I chose to outline every 'big boy' thing he was good at. I then proceeded to tell him that whining and crying about every little thing was unnecessary and not very 'big boyish' of him (verses telling him he's acting like a baby when he does those things). I immediately saw a difference. Every time he has started to whine today, I reminded him of how amazing he is at being a big boy and that he should act like a big boy in that particular situation as well. He instantly stopped. Amazing. AMAZING! And the sad thing is, I knew that I should have been doing this all along. But instead, I decided not to deal with it (because, once again, it is my biggest pet peeve), which only allowed it to get worse....and to allow my frustration to turn into anger.

Ephesians 6:4 tells us "...do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." And Colossians 3:21 tells us "...do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged." Yet I was doing both of those things by choosing not to deal and by exasperating him even more. Do you know what exasperate means?

exasperate:
to irritate or provoke to a high degree; annoy extremely

He was exasperating me, but I was also exasperating him by not tending to his needs. He needed his mother to show him the proper way to act towards these particular situations, not to discipline him in these situations because his whining got on my nerves, severely. Again, I just cannot tell you how much it annoys me!

Which brings me to my next point. 

Patience.

"
A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel." [Proverbs 15:18 NIV]

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." [Galatians 6:9 NIV]

Through out all of this, I truly believe that God is trying to teach me to have better patience. Not just with my child, but with every situation in my life. But, starting with my child. I had become weary in trying to deal with the daily issues. Between taking care of a home, working 3 jobs from home, being a wife, mother and homemaker....it has taken its toll on me these past couple of weeks. Throw in a whiny child and my mind is just melting into a big pile of goop. However, reading Galatians 6:9 completely changed my outlook. Everything that I am doing is to better my family, and God see's that as "good". He see's my work and my pain and heartache and sacrifice. Even if no one else does. "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up". God lays it out pretty clearly. Truly good work never goes unnoticed, and if we continue doing it (no matter what situation you're in), and praising God through our storms -- if we continue to fight the good fight and never give up...at the proper time we will reap a harvest. In this case, my harvest is a non-whiny God fearing child....and patience :) And it might even be a harvest that I'm not expecting right now....like a different job, financial blessings, a new baby ;), or some much needed resting time with a girlfriend. 

So here's my encouragement for you today, Mom:
Don't give up.
Don't lose hope.
Don't exasperate your child, and don't allow your child to exasperate you.
Remember that God has entrusted to you one of the most important jobs He could ever give someone....the job of being a mom. And never forget that your first priority with your child is teaching him or her what the will and character of Christ is....first, and foremost, by your example.

And, give yourself a break, will ya? We all make mistakes :)

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