This morning I began to post the photo below on Instagram and I started with this caption:
We finally opened our December 1st boxes…on the 10th. A favorite Christmas tradition – new Christmas pj’s, book and a movie. The girls spent the evening in PJ’s watching The Polar Express in sleeping bags, with cookies and egg nog to top it off.
Seems perfect right? But that’s not the whole story. The funny thing (if you want to call it that) about this story is that we had planned to do this Sunday evening. Sunday seemed like the perfect night to snuggle up and enjoy a little extra Christmas cheer. But their behavior was far from what is expected of them on Sunday. It was one of those days where we felt as if we were constantly getting onto them and having to discipline them all. day. long.
By Sunday evening we were at our wits’ end and didn’t feel like they deserved to open a gift after acting as they did all day. They would see it as a reward or a treat and we didn’t want to reward their behavior in any way. So we waited until Monday, when (thankfully) they behaved much better.
Do you ever have days like this? When you have something fun planned out but have to take it away because of bad behavior? It’s not fun at all, but unfortunately, it’s part of parenting.
This parenting thing is SO HARD, yall! They don’t tell you about this part when you’re thinking of having a baby. They tell you that you’ll lose sleep and that they grow up too fast. But they don’t tell you just how difficult it is to raise your kids to be good people. My Daddy always says you’re not raising kids, you’re raising adults.
That’s a BIG task. A daunting, gut-wrenching task. And I’m at a loss most days of how to do this. Like completely lost.
Sometimes all I can do is pray Please, God, help me!
Help me to know how to discipline in a way that is loving and also effective so that they will remember the lesson learned.
I pray every day that we can effectively teach our kids right from wrong. It’s hard to know that the way that you’re teaching is right when nothing seems to sink in.
Help me to know how to instill in them the desire to obey.
I pray that we can teach our children respect for their elders, for authority, and most of all, for the written Word.
I pray that they will grow to love God and have a desire to follow Him, not because we said they should, but because they have a deep understanding of His love for us and His desire to be near us.
Help me to be patient and not lose my temper.
I unfortunately get fired up when my kids do something that I’ve told them not to do 2100 times. I need God’s help controlling this.
Help us to know how to teach them not to be entitled
I pray that we can teach our kids that if you want something, you’ve got to work for it. Entitlement is a problem in our society, and it’s something that I’m not sure how to effectively prevent in our children, because I can already see some attitudes of entitlement coming out. We don’t give in to whining, which I think is a big part of it, but the attitude is still there. I pray for guidance on how to prevent this.
Help us to teach our children why it is so important to be kind
I pray that I can raise my girls to be kind to everyone. To never bully or make fun of anyone. To be inclusive, not exclusive.
Help us to be an example of Christ every day
Children are quick to imitate, so our actions must be in line with our teaching. I pray that we will be the light that God has called us to be and that our children will imitate these actions.
I have no advice for you if you’re struggling with this, except prayer. When it comes to raising adults, I’ve come to the conclusion that all you can do is pray. Pray for God’s guidance and His hand to be with you every step of the way. I know that without him, we will fail as parents. It is only by His grace and love that we will achieve what we so desperately want for our children – for them to grow into good, Christian adults.
Some days are hard. Like REALLY, REALLY HARD. You end up in tears, banging your head against the wall, and yelling I don’t know what else to do! This was us on Sunday. David and I looked at each other and said those exact words. “I don’t know what else to do.” Besides pray. And put the kids to bed as early as possible and hope that tomorrow’s a better day.