Hey, It's Jade!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sometimes I Suck As A Parent...

This morning was bad.  I mean, plain awful.  I'd be embarrassed to admit what all went on and how bad my temper got.  Let's just say when you get to the point of taking your child's mattress away as a punishment, something isn't going right.  Preston refused to cooperate with school, I pushed too hard... we both snapped.  I'm ashamed of myself for letting it escalate as it did.  And I was so disappointed and hurt to have him act that way towards me.  It stopped being about the lesson instantly, and became a duel about behavior.  He was downright defiant, disrespectful and disobedient.  I tried to make him understand that I'm the boss.  I failed.  But I can't blame him completely.  He's not quite 5 (just shy two days), and maybe I'm asking too much of him at times.  I haven't achieved the correct balance.  Some days are great.  We get along, have fun, smile, laugh, play and sail through school time.  Other times we hit some bumps in the road, take a break, get over it and carry on.  Occasionally we come to a stand still and one of us eventually has to give in.  This morning neither of us caved when we should.  Michael had to referee.

I'm still new at this.  I have to admit that sometimes I don't know what I'm doing.  Not just the school thing, the mom thing.  I've never had an almost-5-year-old before.  I don't know why ground rules we set aren't working with him.  Are we doing it all wrong?  Are we not taking the right approach?  How do you get through to a kid that you are in charge and what you say goes?  I mean, it seems like it would be obvious.  But, it's not.  I know I'm not alone, probably every set of parents goes through this.  I just don't know why he doesn't get it.  You obey your parents.  The end.  What's confusing about that?

Earlier I asked him "Why do you do things you know to be bad?"  His response was, "I don't know."  And as I sat there feeling angry, sad, confused, hurt that he couldn't just "be good!"... I thought about how I do things I don't want to do all the time, things I know are wrong or "bad."  How can I be so angry at him, when I am the same way?!?  God must feel the way I feel constantly.  His children are so disobedient, so disrespectful.  I thought about what Paul wrote to the Romans:
14 So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. 15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
 18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
 21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin. (Romans 7: 14-25 NLT)
I am not alone in this struggle.  Preston is not alone in this struggle.  These struggles have been around since the Garden.  We are sinners, and we do bad things.  I have to remember that and not hold it against my child!  I do, however, have to continue to teach him to TRY to be good, to TRY to be respectful and obedient.  I also have to lead by example.  Our study on the Fruits of the Spirit also hit me hard.  I need to work on ALL of them, especially patience... especially patience when it comes to Preston.  But I could definitely use work on my love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  As a parent, all I can do is be there for my child, show him love and guidance, point him towards Jesus and pray that we can make it through each new phase unscathed.  It would be nice if he was more obedient, though.  But I suppose that comes with maturity... if I do my job right.

[I know that some people won't think it's fair for me to write about how terrible Preston's behavior is.  He's obviously  not always like this, he's often the sweetest boy you could ever imagine.  He's also incredibly intelligent.  And, hey, I admitted how awful I acted as well!  I think it's good to have a record of what goes on in our day-to-day lives so that we can someday look back at times like this and know that we've come a long way.  I think we all struggle.  Some people hide it better than others.  I don't want to be fake or pretend I have it all together.  If you know me, you know I am far from all-together.  So, don't think I'm mean for advertising my child's bad behavior to the world.  I'm just being real.]

1 comment:

Roxanne Anderson said...

Thanks for being real, Jade, and sharing about your parenting and homeschooling struggles. I have days like this too. Always have. Three kids, homeschooled all the way up, now 4th, 7th and 8th grade...they are mostly great, but we still have power struggles too.

You pray, you cry, you apologize, you establish your authority again, and you just keep going. Not because you are good at it, but because you are the mom and God gave you these kids and you love them.