It’s tough to stand up to pressure and say no to the world, to others, to your child. It isn’t always easy to not allow a 7-year-old to stay up hours past their bedtime. Or to enforce limited screen time with our teens. Especially when we’re running late for carpool, the kids are hungry, or we’re tired!
Can any other moms relate to having their normally-sweet toddler throw themselves on the floor and scream because we didn’t give them a cookie? Sometimes the easiest thing to calm a temper tantrum is to give in and give our child what they want.
Wants vs. Needs
But a wise mom pauses to deal patiently and wisely with her child’s temper tantrum. We take a deep breath and give our children what they need, not always what they want. After all, teaching our children self-discipline now gives them a foundation so they can live God’s way in the future.
When we fail to instill discipline in our children, we aren’t equipping them to know how to control their emotions and to make wise decisions. God says to us loud and clear: teach your children and start early in their lives. Teach them faithfully and consistently. And most of all, do so from a heart of love.
And that’s exactly what it’ll take: a heart of dedication. Scripture says that we’re to teach our children …. No matter the obstacles, the arguments, or the “Yes, but, Moms.”
Faithful parenting is challenging work. But it is truly a “labor of love” and certainly a choice that reaps the greatest blessings of all to a mom’s heart. And I admit, sometimes it seems like you’ll never get a break, that you’ll never make it, that you’re going to lose it, that there is no hope and no end in sight, that things seem to be getting worse instead of better.
That’s why you need to take notice of those peaceful, idyllic pockets and moments of joy and goodness that happen along during your days. You know, those times when all things are well, when things are going the way you—and the Lord—want them to go, when the children are charming, delightful, cheerful, and loving.
Kids of all ages will throw temper tantrums—they will simply come in different forms. Some days it will feel like a mountain of obstacles stand in the way of helping our kids choose self-discipline. But a wise mom doesn’t let whining rock her decisions.
Remember, dear faithful mom, God’s strength will come to your rescue at needed times to energize you to follow through on whatever you must do to follow His will. All of your parenting will benefit from the strength you draw from God to say no to what does not honor Him or benefit your children.
Dear Lord, thank You for guiding and encouraging me with Your Holy Spirit … especially when I’m tired and my kids are throwing tantrums. Help me raise my children to follow after Your own heart. Amen.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
In what areas am I personally lacking self-discipline?
Choose to give your children what they need, not always what they want.