My friend Sam said it well. Parenting really is like the game of Survivor, outwit, outplay, outlast. I feel like that most days. I’m fighting to be one step ahead of my daughter in parenting skills. She learns new “techniques” every day it seems like. She’s smart and I have to stay on top of my game.
It seems like every year after her birthday she is replaced for portions of the day with a small demon. And then she can go back to this small angel for the other portion. I mean really. It is just ridiculous. I struggle to know what is normal for a 4 year old and what is just disobedience that needs to be dealt with. I want to be a mom who is balanced in grace and truth. If you know me I lean toward truth so I’m being challenged greatly. She is also very contrary at times, mostly with me. If I say it’s black, she says it’s white. God is teaching me a lot through this. I fail often but hope that at the end of the day she always knows she’s loved unconditionally.
For example, the latest behavior issue we’ve dealt with is being mean to a friend. When her last friend was leaving her party she was mean to the friend and wouldn’t apologize. She almost made the friend cry. So after a time out in her room and talking about what she should have done we decided that she should apologize when she sees her at school. Then today I had her hand write an apology letter to the friend to give her as well. I had many experiences as a kid where girls were so mean to me and I refuse to let my daughter be one of those. I know God is ultimately in control of her heart but I will do my best to try and shape it in a way that is honoring to Him.
So tonight I’ll bust out my copy of Love and Logic and do some reading. I need to be reminded of how to respond. Do you have any books you love? How do you shape your child’s heart? What would you have done in that situation? I’m always open to ideas. I don’t ever want to assume I know how to do it or that my child is perfect. We all know that’s not true!