I am a mom that gets results. In most areas with my children, when I want to cultivate a behavior or action, I can usually do it. :P [Let’s leave the struggle with toddler attitudes and sibling fights out of this, m’kay? ;) ] For example, sleeping. My children go to bed at 7:00 and 7:30 pm and don’t get up until 8:00 am. I worked on their sleep with them, followed the books, and was diligent enough to see results. [I do have some days that they wake at 6am and I want to cry. :) ] Another example, my kids thrive on schedules. I feel that because I thrive on a schedule, I was able to shape their days so that they got used to and enjoyed a scheduled day.
My family would always joke and tease when it was on the dot time for a feeding and my kids would scream for the bottle. They often wouldn’t believe me when I said such-and-such item on their schedule was imparative to their mood, but eventually they came around. They soon realized that following the schedule made for happy baby and happy everyone else. :P
But I began to evaluate that rigid schedule. My attitude about their behavior. My mom told me that someone reprimanded her when she told me to be quiet when I was two years old. “You’re shushing a 2 year old?” was the rebuke. My mom told me that when I too was attempting to quiet the delighted squeals of my preschooler.
One night, I brought the idea to my husband. I told him that I felt like the Lord was showing me to re-evaluate my attitude when it came to my children’s behavior. Are you telling them no because its inconvenient for you? Or because there is a legitimate reason to say no?
I remember my pastor in Dallas saying once, “I want to say yes as many times as I can to my children before I have to say no. I want to know that I am for their delight.” This struck a chord in me. Do I say yes as much as I can?
I want to let my daughter attempt to ride her bike and struggle but keep trying – not say no in the first place because I don’t feel like standing there for an hour helping her peddle and get back on after falling over and over.
I don’t want to care about stained t-shirts when my daughter wants to paint me a picture.
I want to give my kids a plate of food to eat and not worry about spooning them bite after bite to avoid crumbs.
I want to let my kids take a bath at 10:30 am because they want to play with bubbles instead of getting impatient because I just want to sit on the couch.
I want to sit at the park for hours while my kids tire themselves out in delight on the playground instead of getting tired of pushing the swing or helping someone up the stairs.
So now, though it is still a struggle, I ask myself, “Are you saying no because of you? Or because you have a good reason?” And yesterday, when my daughter wanted to take a bucket and her umbrella outside during a rainstorm to play in the water…instead of thinking how wet she’ll get and how I’ll have to wash their clothes and the drippy floors after…I SAID YES.
And they played in the rain for a half hour. Friends, if you could have heard the squeals of laughter and delight!! And in that moment, I had to force myself not to care at first. And then it got easier when I realized that overcoming an inconvenience or fear of mine resulted in delight and joy for them. Y’all, they were SOAKED. And HAPPY.
So I want to challenge and ask you, are you saying no because of you and because its inconvenient for you? Are you willing to change that so you can be FOR the delight of your kids?