I heard her before I saw her in the store. She had a distinct voice, not the usual tone for a woman, much lower and slightly booming. Apparently her child riding in the shopping cart ( a buggy for my southern friends) had done something for which she didn’t approve. Her yelling at her son caused me to look up and see who was making all the noise in the store. She was a youngish mom and was obviously not happy with what her son had done, but her yelling only made him continue. She continued to yell and shop, completely ignorant of the other customers around her.
As the mom of three, I’ve been there done that- except for the yelling part. Believe me, I know how long summer vacation can be with kids, but I’ve got to confess, I actually did like having my kids home from school. I still do.
But….. I am a realist, there will be meltdowns when you have children, especially toddlers and teenagers, and it’s not the kids who are doing the melting down- it’s the parents. I have had my own share of meltdowns as a parent.
Parenting is not for the faint of heart, much like marriage it takes work- a whole lot of work and patience. Kids are not mini adults; they are growing and they will act like kids. Eventually they will be adults and as the Bible says you will reap what you sow (Galatians 6:7). Children really do model what they see their parents doing. It’s unavoidable, despite what we try to tell them to do, they learn by what they see us doing, and often mimic us. Oh they will hear some of what we say- the gossip about others- and at the most inappropriate time will repeat what they heard. It can be a real eye opener and embarrassing to us as parents. However, it is what they watch us doing that stick with them the most.
My husband and I survived the ordeals and meltdowns of early parenthood and we made our share of mistakes in the process. But we have seen how the good habits we demonstrated in front of our kids have stuck with them. Praying about everything and helping others are two of the good habits I see them doing now as adults. We are our children’s greatest role model. As we grow ourselves in our relationship with Christ, let our children see our faith in action. Yelling at children doesn’t bring about much good- it only models how to poorly handle frustration. How are you role(ing) this summer? If it’s more than you can handle without losing your peace, reach out and ask for some help. Take a break for yourself so you can regroup, or if you can’t then take a deep breath and count to ten before you yell at your kids. Be patient they aren’t adults yet. Happy summer- Nancy