Patient and Respectful Parenting
I love taking drives with my husband through the country. I imagine myself walking through the tall grass or sitting in front of a cornfield relaxing. The country clears my mind. We even have thought about moving there. But we are growing where God has planted us.
However, there are days that parenting gets hard and the temptation to run off to the country fills my mind. I will say to my husband when I’m overwhelmed and I need his empathy,” I wish I was sitting in a cornfield.”
He totally gets it. Just the other day he cracked me up. We were having the hardest time getting our kids out the door. It seemed like we told them a million times to get their shoes on and bags packed. Out of the blue my husband shakes his head and says something like this, “This is like trying to wrangle up a bunch of prairie dogs.”
Oh, the joys of parenting!!!!
My eight-year-old son and I get into arguments often. I’m not proud to admit this. But we both are strong willed and will not give up without a good fight.
I feel disrespected when he ignores my requests and oversteps boundaries.
In my son’s mind, he thinks I’m wrong and unfair. In my mind, I think that my message isn’t being heard and so I raise my voice and nag. This just makes him defensive.
He feels disrespected.
It’s hard to respect him when he doesn’t respect me.
There are times that I get so frustrated with his attitude that I let my anger get the best of me. It’s difficult to stay calm and peaceful when the same problem behaviors keep coming up. Patience in parenting is a virtue that I struggle with.
I don’t like drama or upsetting moments and I don’t like overreacting when my son disobeys. I have a hard time being kind when he offends me or he has done something that makes me worry. But I realize that he is no different than me. I offend him too by my reactions.
I strive to walk in more grace, humor, and unconditional love.
Parenting is hard.
A couple of months ago, I cried out to God to help me get a handle on this. I was desperate for peace and joy in my heart and home. God has been helping and He reminds me that love bears all things.
7 Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening]. 1 Corinthians 13:7 (AMP)
When my son and I are having a hard time with each other, I need to show him respect even when he doesn’t respect me.
Now I stop myself from arguing with my son and I say to him, “I respect you too much to argue with you.”
My son responds to this well because he doesn’t feel a need to defend himself.
Three things I do to show my son respect instead of yelling and nagging at him.
-I walk away from the argument before I start yelling and I give the issue at hand a rest.
-I readdress the disagreement when we are both calm and ready to discuss it and problem solve together.
-He hears me better when I first show him empathy and affirm his feelings about the issue.
It’s so important to focus on the good things our kids do and to take time to thank them. My son does so much better when he feels appreciated.
We miss out on getting to know our kids as an individual when we just focus on the wrong they do. When we pay attention to their strengths they will show more respect towards us.
At least that seems to be the case between my son and me.