I recently read an article from a mom who discovered she was bullying her oldest. She was so worried about keeping the schedule, the house, the family up, that her oldest took the blame (and the eye rolls) when something went wrong. It only took me a couple paragraphs to feel my heart catch and know that I did the exact same thing. I’m guilty of bullying my oldest too.
As the oldest, I forget sometimes that she’s still just a baby herself. Being the first means that she’s my “trial kid”…we’ve never done this before with her…but I tend to expect so much more from her than her years allow. She’s so mature sometimes that it frustrates me when she acts her age.
This realization hit me so hard that I started praying immediately for more patience, more wisdom, more everything when it came to parenting my Tween. She’s so strong-willed, and not very emotional, but there’s this amazing light in her, and I don’t want to squash it. I hope I haven’t already.
How did I get so caught up in trying to be a good mom that I forgot to stop and listen to my kids? I’m supposed to be this faithful, loving, Proverbs 31 mom…which I still suspect is not ever attainable. That woman is my hero. Epic fail! So how do I salvage this?
“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.”
Proverbs 31:25-26 NLT
For starters, I’ve begun taking the authors advice and saying to myself “Stop. Only love today.” when I start to get frustrated or upset. I already see the Tween talking to me more and offering more hugs (Did I scare her before???)
I’m learning to speak softer and not expect so much. After all, they’re kids! Why do I expect more from them than they can give?!
I’m sure I’ll fail at this again from time to time. I’m trying not to be so hard on myself in all of this too. But what an eye opening experience. Lesson learned: I need to quit expecting more from my kids than they can offer and spend time just getting to know who they’re becoming. And…they need to learn to expect more from me.