Thursday, February 19, 2009

Love You, Mama

This may seem a little extreme, two postings within hours of each other, but when I wrote the last one (see below), I was simply trying to distract myself from a crying 3 year old that I sent to her room. I needed to take a moment and think about how the Lord has brought us through in the last months, and take stalk that if He carried us through unemployment, and moving, selling a home, and saying good-bye to people we love, then surely He would give me a few more ounces of strength to endure a hard parenting moment after a very difficult "mom-day".

Today I was not my daughter's favorite person. The discipline that the Lord requires a parent to yield is not often loved or appreciated in the moment by those who are on the receiving end. Words of defiance and disrespect came out of my little one's mouth today. She threw fits, whined, screamed, and flat out made for a very rough time for everyone in the house. It was an old-fashioned battle of wills. She spent a significant portion of the day in her room as she was unwilling to apologize or change her behavior.

After her father left this evening to play some basketball, the battle went into a round two. Back to her room she went, and I was crushed. There I was, having to face the same sin in my child's heart. Did I have it in me to deal with it?

I knew I had to. I could not consider myself a faithful mother if I did not. But this time, she just had to go to bed, for everyone's sake.

I spoke with my precious sister-in-law, who happens to be one of my best friends and was given some needed perspective. I am not a bad mom. My daughter will not grow up to hate me. I will get through to her, and she will learn respect, if I am faithful.

So my patient little boy was put to bed, and into my girl's room I went. I carried her into the living room, and we talked about her behavior today. We talked about some consequences for tomorrow, and I outlined requirements in behavior for certain privileges tomorrow.

Two things stood out:

Me: "Norah, what do you need to say to mom when she says things are going to be?"
Norah: "Okay, Mom."

YAY! Something is getting through!

At the end of our little talk:

Me: "I love you, Norah."

No response, but a smile.

Me: "You can tell me you love me too."
Norah: "Love you, Mama."

Back to bed she went.

Me: "Goodnight, Norah. I love you."
Norah: "Love you, Mama."

No prompting. No cues. I needed that.

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