Just last night I thanked God for something that a mom would be shocked to even consider a “blessing.” I had thanked God for my son’s temper tantrums….Don’t get me wrong, I would PREFER not to have to deal with them. But, last night God put on my heart that through Christopher’s temper tantrums was a former prayer being answered.
Not too long ago, I felt on my heart to ask God to change me when it comes to being patient and level-headed when it came to the major outbursts my child would have, especially in public. He is great maybe 85% of the time, but the rest of the time, it is like a battle trying to maintain composure yet disciplining Christopher so that he learns what is acceptable behavior, especially in public. I know that every child is not perfect, and I do not expect him to be so, too. But, it is my job to teach him God’s fruit of the Spirit. He is at such a young age where he is eager to learn and I do not want to miss that window of opportunity to teach him godly behavior.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23, NIV.
To teach him, I first must allow God to bring forth changes in my heart so that I can allow the Holy Spirit to lead me into guiding my son into God’s Word. We all make mistakes, and after each outburst, I have Christopher pray to God for changing us. While I know there are several different parenting styles, I firmly believe that a parent should be a parent first, then friend second. I say that because while it may hurt a parent’s feelings to see their child crying because they had to get a spanking or a timeout for something that was unacceptable, it shows your child that you are the “authority” figure and will make it easy for you to have consistency in raising your child.
I admit that I definitely do not like seeing my son cry, but I know deep down that if I don’t help him learn the Fruit of the Spirit, then when he gets older, there will be a disrespect for others. By thanking God for his temper tantrums, it allowed me to realize that I needed to let God change my approach in how I respond and lovingly correct his behavior. As much as it “hurts” to hear, “You’re a bad mommy,” when I have to discipline him by putting him in time out and give him a spanking, if needed, I know that is what most children say when they are being disciplined and they do not like that.
I can see how consistency is a must when it comes to disciplining your child. While I am allowing God to change me, it is still hard to not react in an overreacting way when your child’s behavior spirals out of control. Lately, I have implemented a specific timeout chair and maintained no “contact” of verbal communication with Christopher during his time out period. I don’t necessarily do the time limit of his age as suggested by others because he hasn’t calmed down by the time is up. I just go about what I am doing until the tantrum subsides, and I go over to him and explain in a calm way about his behavior. Then, we tell each other we love each other and hug.
I have to say that it is a workout in itself to go through the time out. By the time I get done initiating the timeout, I feel exhausted like I ran a marathon. And, I will point out that I know I only have one child, but every parent has a unique situation. My husband’s job has him away more than home and I have no family nearby; so, I feel overwhelmed when I don’t get time to myself hardly or when my little boy knows what buttons to push because he is with me all day. And, I have to say that I do wish that this phase would be over soon, but that would mean that he is going to be a little bit older, and I will miss him being a toddler.
Also, I believe determining the root of any such tantrum will help deter future ones, obviously. Often times, my toddler will have a tantrum because he is tired from playing. But, lately, he has had several because our family is going through a BIG change (I will blog about that later) and he hasn’t been able to receive the attention he wants as much because of that.
Ultimately, I want my son to go out into the world and represent who Jesus is and if I do not allow God to work on myself so that I can plant the Fruit of the Spirit into my son’s heart, then I have not done my job that God created me to do for Him. I love my wonderful, strong, son- tantrums and all (maybe ease up on the tantrums, haha).
*This isn’t a blog post that is “targeted” to any moms in general. It is more so written for me to continue on my spiritual journey as a mom of a strong-willed, yet kindhearted child. You, mommy, are doing a great job. Let go of your mom guilt and let God’s grace fill your heart. Whatever situation you are going through with your child(ren), ask God what He is trying to reveal to you through that situation.