The kids and I had a long day last week. They had a hard time obeying; I had low-energy and was struggling with selfishness; and we all took turns with a bad attitude.
Days like that make a momma look forward to bedtime, but when the kids don’t share the same excitement, a long day becomes even longer.
I took time to listen to the gentle prompting of the Holy Spirit instead of disciplining, lecturing, or a look of disapproval.
Something else was going on in my daughter’s heart.
On that night, the sassiness was more than just disrespect, disobedience, or tiredness.
I crawled up to her top bunk, put my arms around this miniature version of me, and whispered in her ear, “How ’bout if you and I plan a special outing for us? I think we need to spend some time together, just the two of us. We need a Mommy-daughter date.”
Instantly, she relented. The hard will softened. The stubborn excuses abated. Instantly, my sweet girl returned with a big grin and an even bigger hug.
We spent the next few minutes whisper-planning our special outing, and after a few I love yous and hugs, my little girl put her head down and tried her best to fall asleep.
No more complaining. No more arguing. No more glares or sighs or harumphs.
All she needed was me.
What’s Behind the Bad Attitude?
In His gentle, Fatherly way, God got my attention again that night, reminding me not to plunge ahead, led by my emotions but instead to depend on Him.
Momma, slow down and pray.
What is behind the bad attitude?
Sometimes all they need — big kids and little kids, alike — is a nap or a snack. Sometimes they need a little help or a gentle reminder. But in a world full of distracted lives, interrupted conversations, and screen time addictions, most of the time, all they need is you. Our kids need us.
That time is so important.
I need to be reminded of this more than anyone, so these next few words are meant for me the most:
We might be with our kids a lot, but are we giving them the deliberate attention they need?
Maybe we need to rearrange our schedules, turn off the TV, put away our phones, tablets, and computers. It’s not just about being around each other, but engaging together.
Are we able to eliminate the preoccupied uh huhs, absorbed just a minutes, and distracted in a seconds from our vocabularies? Will we look our children in the eyes when we talk? Can we get out of our chairs? Stoop down to their level? Connect?
Yes, keep talking. Keep reading. Keep playing and imagining and dreaming. But don’t just do those things alone or with friends. Let’s take the time to do all of these things with our kids! Let’s laugh and play and inspire. Let’s say “yes” a lot!
When we’re having a hard parenting day, and it’s not the result of over-tiredness, hunger, or a too-full schedule, might we just try time. Let’s try 20 minutes of focused-on-them, uninterrupted play with our kids. It just might transform our days — and our hearts.
Question for You:
What is usually “behind the bad attitude” for your kids?