I heard something in church a while back that caught my attention, I then made it a point to find where that quote came from and I found it this afternoon here.
At the time of hearing this, I was really struggling with the newness of the whole three kid thing. One kid in particular required more than I had patience for and I easily became frustrated. I began to react – to a two year old! (now you know which one was difficult…oh well!) So when I heard the following quote it hit home, and it was exactly what I needed to hear.
“A sweet and obedient child will enroll a father or mother only in Parenting 101. If you are blessed with a child who tests your patience to the nth degree, you will be enrolled in Parenting 505. Rather than wonder what you might have done wrong in the premortal life to be so deserving, you might consider the more challenging child a blessing and opportunity to become more godlike yourself. With which child will your patience, long-suffering, and other Christlike virtues most likely be tested, developed, and refined? Could it be possible that you need this child as much as this child needs you?”
The last line was an an eyeopener. I needed him (to learn and grow from) just as much as he needed me. We were there to grow and learn from each other. I’ve spent so much time forcing knowledge and habits down his throat, I’ve rarely taken the time to learn from him. And it was clear it was time.
It seems so simple in quote form – but even knowing that, it’s hard to change behavior. I’m consciously making daily efforts to change my reactions. It’s still annoying to hear that shrill cry/scream for unknown reasons. Unknown to me. For him, they’re justified cries. He’s frustrated, tired, hurt, sad, lonely. The list could go on and on. More than anything, he needs me to get down on my knees, at eye level, and tell him it’s okay to be frustrated and point out other ways to express frustration. It’s getting better. Not perfect, but better. We’re learning from each other and I’m confident we’re both benefiting.