This has been a week of my toddler trying my patience. It hasn’t necessarily been a week of misbehaving, as much as just pushing buttons and testing limits. If you’re a mother (or aunt, or babysitter, or daycare provider), then you understand what the terrible two’s can do to your patience. Yes. That. That’s what we’re going through in the Farmer house right now. How do I get through this? How do I get all the other siblings through this? How do I use this “stage” to mold my toddler, and hopefully have us both come out in a loving, trusting relationship when we reach the other side?
Since publishing When Your Child Is Untruthful, I have had many questions and searches on the site wondering how to get your child to be truthful with you. I want to first state I am no expert on children–but I know and love my own. And I am no expert biblical scholar–but I love Jesus too, and seek Him at every chance I get–you could say I’ve been obsessed since I first fell in love. I seek His Word, and through prayer, seek His guidance as to how to accomplish things with my children. And most of all, I look at how my Heavenly Father teaches me, His child, to learn lessons on honesty and repentance. I use the example He gives me of how a loving parent should shepherd the heart of a child–and with His guidance, I do my best to follow by example and instruction. This is what my I’ve come up with so far that works with my children.
Every year I learn more and more about myself. Some things I learn from my mistakes, some I learn from my friends, some I learn from my husband, and some I learn from my kids. Kids are such good teachers. They are so honest, and when they are young enough or teenagers, they don’t hold back. I keep a memory book for each of my children. Yesterday, I got them out and had a laugh, shed some tears, and felt some conviction. Here’s what I’ve learned from my children this last year.
If you’ve been a parent–or an aunt, or a babysitter–for long enough, then it’s happened. A child has lied to you. [Big sigh] I know. I get it. When it’s your own child, sometimes it’s funny when they are really young–like when you come out of the bathroom and they are sitting on the floor in front of the freezer with a face covered in chocolate ice cream and two hands in the container, then they look at you with deer-in-the-headlight eyes when you scream, “What have you done?” and they shrug their shoulders and say, “I don’t know.” Many times, however, it’s really hurtful. You wonder, Why does she think she has to lie to me? Other times–as they get older and continue to lie–this behavior of theirs causes anger, and possibly hostility on the parent’s part. Is it possible to avoid these feelings of anger and outrage from parents as children get older?
I have a child who harbors pain for others. Occasionally he gets quieter than normal. He’ll be withdrawn and sad for a couple of days. And then he will ask a question about someone else–a question about someone else’s well-being, or soul. He takes on the problems of others and makes them his own. He tries to carry their burden, to take their problems on himself–even when the person doesn’t seem to acknowledge or otherwise be bothered by these “problems.” Many children (and adults) will take on others’ problems at various points in their lives. But there are certain children who continue to do this repeatedly for years–or even for a lifetime. When they continue to do this, we call them burden bearers. How do we help our children when they repeatedly hurt not only for themselves but deeply for other individuals? Do we chalk it up to, “that’s just his/her personality” and try to cheer them up when these situations arise? Or is there another way?
With my first child, I was starting to think we just got lucky, or that whole “terrible two” thing I’d heard about was just a myth. But then as my child neared three years old, I saw it. It came from nowhere. It lasted awhile. And then it was gone. Each of my proceeding children has gone through this phase (if I may call it that), appropriately at two years of age. And by three, it’s usually gone. It’s that part of development that most parents sigh at and shake their heads at. But where are you at on the topic? Do you sigh as your child goes through it, and pray it will pass quickly? Or are you able to embrace it? Enjoy it? Thank God for this gift? Wait…did I say gift? Yes…I did. I am thankful for each of my children going through this phase. Are you thankful? Would you like to be?
If you are a parent (especially to babies, toddlers or teenagers), then no doubt there are times you wish you could get just a little more sleep in the mornings. Maybe even every morning? The Farmer keeps odd hours during planting and harvesting. Nurses have odd hours as well. This puts us wanting that extra bit of sleep–often. If you’re a single parent, or you work different hours than your spouse, then you probably know exactly what I’m talking about here. So what are some ways to get just a little bit more sleep in the mornings? Here are my top 9 suggestions:
Have you ever been tested Friends? I mean really tested–the kind of situation you knew had to be the hand of God? How did it go? Did you hold on with faith and endure til the end? Leaning on Christ every second? Or did you cry out and ask Him Why me Lord? Maybe even sulk in your obedience? Or did you loose faith in the situation and choose disobedience because it “made more sense?” I think we are unaware of our tests sometimes. When we think of tests from God, we think of specific bible stories, like when Abraham was told to sacrifice his only son (Genesis 22:2). Abraham had not been given the warning, “Now, this is the test I have for you,” and yet somehow he made wise decisions. Let’s look at the beautiful love story of Abraham and his only son given to him in old age, and learn how to let God lead us. Let’s see what we can take away from this story of a father and his son so that when an unforeseen test faces us and our raw emotions take over, we will have some skills to back them up–and make faithful decisions. Recall in Genesis:
If you’ve ever worked in healthcare, you are very familiar with the phrase, “Nurses eat their own.” If you’re not familiar with it, let me explain. Nursing school was hard for those who lead the way. And for some unknown reason (I don’t care where you are located,) nurses seem to want to pass on the difficulties they had to each upcoming generation. I have heard over and over and over again something along the lines of, “When I was in nursing school…[how hard life was for them]…Why should she/he have it any easier?” Many nurses just aren’t nice to the incoming classes of nurses. (Just to clarify, some are.) This has devastating effects in the learning process. When I go to work and a nursing student is assigned to me, I will often have a student who is either afraid of me before we’ve met, or desperately trying to prove him/herself to me. It’s awful either way. I have to tell the student that I don’t matter–at all. They aren’t here today to impress me and certainly shouldn’t be afraid of me. We are all here for the patient (and future patients). And truthfully, neither of us matters when we walk […]
At some point in most of our lives as mothers, we feel…empty. We feel as though there is nothing left to give. Nothing left to provide. We have been giving and giving and giving. And now we are out. We wonder how we will ever provide for our children. Maybe we even start to feel like a bad mother–unable to physically care for our children. This reminds me of one of God’s love stories. A story of a mother who loved her child dearly, but who ran out of options.