Thursday, February 9, 2012

My Parenting Dilemma

When the boys were young, they got in trouble and had to stand in the corner.
They both went to the same corner - so sweet and innocent "back in the day".

Today I've been trying to wrap my head around this whole "parenting" thing.
I'm SURE I'll have it figured out by dinnertime. (HA!)

I fear that I have been "erring on the side of grace" a bit too often lately.
"They are just distracted."
"They didn't mean to be disrespectful."
"It's been a hard day."

In actuality, the issue is that...Mom has been a "sucker".
Those sweet little boys know that they can be a bit sour lately - and get away with it. 

Things need to change. I'm just trying to figure out what "change" is supposed to look like.
Military-style Mom? Probably...but I want to educate them on WHY their lives are about to turn upside-down. I don't want them to stand at attention and clean the mess hall with their toothbrushes just because Mom got fed up and "Can't take it any more!" (even if that IS part of it).

Childhood is a good time to learn that life gets very difficult when we make unwise choices.
It is a lesson we all need to comprehend...and I want my boys to learn it while the consequences are "elementary school severe" and not "lose your family and your job severe".

Proverbs 2:11
"Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you."
Proverbs 1:32
"For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; But whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm."

So I need to educate my children by disciplining their sinful behavior, BUT I also want them to experience the love that exists in GRACE.
I want them to understand that they do not have to live "perfect" lives.
While their ears still listen to me almost half of the time, and while they still have a safe landing to fall on at home...I want them to realize that they WILL fall - and that when they do, they can get back up and hold their heads high.
I want them to understand that they have inherent value...even when they disobey.

This parental equation is more than: disobedience + consequence = wisdom.
So much of the result has to do with me (the parent).
The attitude I hold while responding to the unwise choices of my children is always factored in as well. *sigh...I KNEW it would come to this. Mom gets to learn a lesson too.*

If my boys see me loving them while showing them the wiser path,
if they see me responding with compassion while handing them correction,
they may just learn the lessons of Love and Grace while trudging through the consequences.
(That's quite a different message than they receive when my eyes turn red with anger and veins pop out of my neck because MY feelings are hurt.)
When correction happens in a way that points our children to God (and helps them see value and beauty in choosing wisdom), that is where success lies.

Well, I guess I didn't need to reinvent the parenting wheel today.
I've known all along how to get to health. I just have to ACT on it...even when it's not easy.

Get ready boys, Mama's found the "straight and narrow" and I'm planning to have you walking right beside me - with military precision. But don't worry, I'll help you up when you get out of step and fall (even if you land on my toes).

I feel much better. I have a plan.
I just needed to see things with the right set of eyes...and it didn't take until dinnertime after all.


  1. you are amazing ! I love this!

  2. What a great reminder to show love and discipline at the same time! As you know, I am pretty emotional, that includes getting angry...but if I can be aware of my responses and use it to show love and discipline, it will go much farther :) Love this post and I am sure I will refer to it often!


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