Role (ing)

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

 

Now Hear This…..

Originally I thought about titling this week’s blog “Reaping What You Sow”  but decided against it since it is more about listening and choosing to listen. Recently I watched a video in which a young mother is interrogating grandma over her failure to follow the mom’s rule book -a thick book full of appropriate bed times and allowable snacks. The grandmother had been babysitting and had broken all the rules. Now she was being interrogated. In her responses the grandmother was sweet, kind and offered bribes such as homemade cookies to her young parents and even offered to buy a cute outfit for the grandchild.

My blog today is kind of aimed toward parents, but can be applied to everyone. So here goes. As a parent have you ever broken the rules? I have. I mean there are no “real” rule books for parents, but  those of you who claim the title know what I mean. So, in my rule book, parents aren’t supposed to be scared. I mean we can be scared for our kids and even obsessively worry over them. But generally we are supposed to be strong and of good courage when it comes to ourselves. So recently I was in a situation in which I found myself scared and indecisive. And yes, of course, I prayed and sought God’s direction and His peace, but honestly we all want to be sure we are making the right decision. So often I ask others for their thoughts. Usually my soundest advice comes from my husband. But this time it also came from my children. Well my young adults. They are adults who have this adulting thing down pat. After calling each one up individually, I couldn’t believe my ears. Each one repeated back to me something I had said to them. Their comments were all similar and basically said “You got this! Go do it!, Do it afraid, but do it!, You gotta start somewhere!” There it was! Everything I had been saying to them for the past three decades. They HAD been listening! Even through those uncertain teen years when I would usually hear, “I KNOW mom, you don’t have to tell me” or “I THOUGHT you said…” So there it is; the reaping and sowing part of today’s blog.  Galatians 6:7 reminds the reader that we reap what we sow. If we plant strawberries we will get strawberries in other words. What I had sown before in the form of advice and encouragement to my kids when they were younger was now yielding fruits of advice and encouragement in my life. Just when I needed it most.

I think much can be learned from listening to those younger than us. Sadly, I think too many adults with many years under their belt, fail to listen to those younger. Maybe we’re afraid they might be right and they would prove us wrong. Or maybe we don’t want to take our own advice when we hear it coming back to us. My challenge for both parents and children is this; be willing to listen. Sow good seeds and you will reap good fruit. And remember what your parents said, and share it with them when they need it most. We are all in this thing called life together. There are NO generation gaps when we are all using the same book, the BIBLE. -God Bless -Nancy