Here it comes – the BIGGEST, LOUDEST, most ANNOYING scream ever, “AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!”
My 3-year-old may be a pint-sized princess, but boy can she scream! And, lately, she’s been testing my patience.
Every time she bickers with her brothers or can’t have her way, she breaks out with a high-pitched, window-cracking scream that could definitely be heard from miles away.
It’s the type of sound that gets under my skin, makes me lose my cool, and prompts me to turn into a big, bad mean mama.
And she knows what she’s doing. The madder I get, the more she screams.
Her screaming is such a disturbance that I have to do something about it. I can’t let her grow-up thinking this is normal behavior. So every time she screams her lungs out, she’s disciplined.
On October 11, 2013, our nation was shocked by the death of NFL star running back Adrian Peterson’s son, a 2-year-old who was brutally beaten by his mother’s boyfriend.
When I first got news of this child’s death, I was deeply saddened for him. But I was also deeply saddened for the more than four U.S. children who die every day as a result of child abuse and the over 6 million U.S. children who are reportedly abused each year, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
While sitting still, I also began to ponder on my own situation. Surely my daughter has been challenging me, and I can only imagine that these abusers have been challenged also.
But what would make someone abuse a child? Why hadn’t I abused my child?
The answer is simple: I’m not perfect, but God is.
When I’m frustrated and feeling like I’m about to blow up, I go to God in prayer.
The word “discipline” comes from the Latin word meaning “disciple” or “learner.” When I go to God, I allow him to discipline me. I become a learner of the greatest teacher.
Once I have learned then I can successfully teach or discipline my daughter.
As parents, we will be tested by our children, and we should discipline them. But how we discipline our children is a direct result of how we’re disciplined.
God is love, and if He is our teacher, there is no way that we could possibly abuse our kids.
So the next time your child gives you trouble (and I’m talking to myself too), take a “time-out” to talk to God, especially when you’re in the heat of the moment.
God will give you guidance. But beware! Sometimes He’ll guide you to do something totally opposite of what you are thinking. He might lead you to hug your child or say something nice. Don’t resist, just do it because, after all, He’s the real know-it-all.
And if you’re entrusting someone else to discipline your child, make sure that person’s values line up with your values, and most importantly, make sure that person’s values line-up with God’s values. God is love.