Did I just describe your kid?
I dropped Silas off at preschool, where he goes to get speech help when the teacher informed me that my Si had been really rude the day before. My Si?! Really? (Sense the sarcasm) We had already been experiencing some changes since school started...oh please tell me I'm not the only parent whose child changes when school goes back in session! HaHa! Really it doesn't even take school back in session for children to pick up behaviors. That craziness can happen from going to Wal-Mart, visiting a park or Heavens to Betsy (unsolvable origin...just FYI encase you were starting to google it) Church!
The teacher kindly informed me that she realizes he has picked this behavior up at school and even knows which child he is morphing into. Bye bye tender hearted sweet boy, welcome rude little I-want-my-own-way rotten child!! What!?! You called your child rotten, I call it like it is!
Here is where the rubber meets the road for me...I expect my child to pick up on all the characteristics of other children...the good and the bad. Its unfortunate that its mostly bad that comes home. sigh. In my opinion that's really not the issue.
The issue is...we live in a society of ill mannered bratty rottten kids!
Judgemental?! Perhaps. People judge us by our children! They even judge our children! They may or may not avoid us based upon our children. They judge how we parent or should I say...don't parent! And many of us can say..."oh I don't judge." "Been there done that, I know how you feel." "I'm sure they are doing their best." Blah blah blah, deny it, but we have all done it!
I often find myself not thinking of the child as much, (although someone SHOULD as my Great Grandmother would say "yank a knot in his tail.") My thoughts are more for Mom and Dad. What is going on Mom and Dad? Do you need help? Have you lost control? Are you beyond exhausted? Clueless how to parent? To me those are legit questions to parents with OOC kids (out of control kids). Side note: different than ADD kids! Or at least I think so.
Which makes me think back to my Great Grandmother. She would talk about the close knit community in which she raised her daughter. Rebellion wasn't tolerated at home, the neighbors house, school or church. The community helped raise children. It was definitely a more stern society. We have come a long way from that. We are no longer a community helping each other, but rather sitting back, judging and doing nothing. I know, I don't want it to be true either. I want those who need help to ask for it. I wish I trusted my neighbor enough to call my child out on his behavior. To believe others care about the heart of my child, but they don't.
The good news is...I do! And the good news is that God trusts me to care for my children. I care enough about my child (and other children sometimes) that I take the time to TRAIN THEM IN THE WAY THEY SHOULD GO. (Proverbs 22:6). Am I an expert, absolutely not! (I read lots of books, pray a lot and ask loads of questions to mothers who have raised well-behaved God-fearing children) Do my children rebel? Yes Are they perfect? Not by a long shot. Are we together learning patience, forgiveness, respect, obedience, mercy, and grace? Yes! Am I strict? Yes! Do I expect children to obey their parents? Yes! Do I hope parents will step up to the plate and train their children? Yes (although I think I understand why many don't....Part 2)
Children left to themselves bring shame to their mother (paraphrased Proverbs 29:15...read it, there is more there to help us learn to parent). We are entrusted with much (what could be more important than the souls of our children?) and much is expected. God is expecting much from us!!!! (Luke 12:48 para.) Parenting is a hard job. Its not for the weak. He does give us the strength each day to endure the path that is before us. (see 2 Cor 12:9)
God uses it all for his glory, even when our children grow up and turn to their own way (Part 3 perhaps). I really don't have it all figured out, I work hard at it EVERYDAY.
Let's encourage each other to work hard at training our children.
In Him, Micah