How fitting that today this verse would appear as the daily verse when I have been cooking a blog related to this very topic. I didn't know why I couldn't just sit down and write it until I saw this verse posted this morning. God's timing, eh? I chose the title I did because I have a secret. But that is not the place I want to start. When my son Paulie was in the womb, it was a pregnancy like any other. If there is such a thing. My morning sickness was actually in the evening. Crackers were my best friend until the second trimester. In the third trimester he helped me with posture, as he would push forcefully up on my rib cage whenever I'd slouch. Labor was as much of a breeze as it could have been. My water started leaking in the early morning, and it was broken around 10 am. He arrived shortly after noon. But this is where we started to see how little Emmett Paul was different from other babies. When he was crowning, my husband remembers seeing him turning his head from side to side. When he was laid down to be measured and weighed, he did not curl up in the fetal position. My father, watching him, distinctly remembers seeing Emmett stretch out his little limbs with an air of relief and luxury. "Finally, some elbow room!" He almost rolled himself over right then, something that babies are not supposed to be able to do for months. And so it began. My little boy was not soothed by being wrapped up like a burrito, as newborns tend to be. He was lifting his own head on his second day of life, and he was holding it up on his own within 2 weeks. I remember when he went in for a well-child visit at 4 months and the doctor told us that after a couple of months we will see him begin to crawl. That evening, Emmett crawled to me. Yes, he has been determined and ahead of himself since day one. Isn't it easy to read my pride in my strong and ambitious little son? And isn't it easy for a mother's joy in her child to be sullied with mortification? From about 18 months to about 3 years old he had his terrible twos, only more terrible than any other 2 year old I would meet. The worst was the shrieking. In all seriousness, I am sure that I have experienced hearing loss because of the shrieking. Every day dozens of toys were thrown and sometimes broken. When he was around other children he saw them as those to experiment hitting techniques on. And it goes on. Now, in school, I have seen him in the classroom with other children. He quite literally runs circles around them. I have heard countless times mothers wishing that they had half as much energy as their children. Seeing my son next to his peers it is evidenced to me that if I ever received my half it would be easily double that of the other mothers. I am so amazed that at 5 and a half he is reading and writing. I am quite serious. But his terrible twos have not ended. The behavior has only modified a bit. Next Tuesday, as per the running notebook his kindergarten teacher started concerning my son, we will be meeting for the third time concerning his behavior. He, as a kindergartener, has already been to the principal's office at least 6 times. You see, he still hits and pushes. He still has his own agenda and his own agenda no matter what. He is still mortifying. So here is my secret: I am embarrassed of my son. I am embarrassed of myself. Embarrassed and ashamed. My son is my secret. For years I hid out with him at my house, too ashamed (of myself? of him? both most likely) to go out in public with him, where judgmental eyes would fall. I was almost totally isolated with him. When he began Headstart and then kindergarten, I wanted to give his teachers the utmost support because I knew what he would put them through. Simultaneously, I desperately wanted to avoid any conversation with them or any other parent. Too ashamed, too afraid. Does anyone out there know what it is like to look at your own child with strong love and crippling shame? I walk through every day certain that I am failing him. Why else would he go about as he does? Which brings us to today's verse. I tremble to delve into this topic. It causes me so much pain to know what kind of child I have, and shame over my failures, and fear of being judged and misunderstood. You see, looking back, there has been seldom a moment that I haven't striven my utmost to fulfill that verse, and other verses on parenting. And so on. You will not find a place where there isn't someone who sees a child misbehaving and the parent is not condemned. The mother is too lenient, too harsh, too gentle, too strict, too inconsistent. She spanks, she doesn't spank, she doesn't explain, the child doesn't know the boundaries, isn't rewarded, isn't warned, isn't controlled. That's the big one at the end. The child isn't controlled. And it is mom's fault. In the majority of my heart and mind I agree. And I strive. I struggle vigorously. In the back of my mind, I dare anyone who thinks such a thing about my son to give it a try and see how well they get on. Parents who have done what I have with their child should have come up with some method by now that is effective. Parents that have tried as I have should have model children based solely on effort. And yet it is not so. What have I tried? Ha! What haven't I? For series of months we have gone from spanking to time-outs to rewards systems. Explaining and coddling and tamping down. Taking things away. Nothing was tried for just a matter of weeks. Every conceivable combination has been attempted. And consistency! Nothing was glazed over, overlooked, allowed to "not get it this time." So tell me where we are getting it wrong? Ah, and the crux of the matter. How are we living before him? Well, we have vehemently and calmly disagreed on everything from finances to churches before him. Not raising our voices or our hands. He watches us become angry, and watches us control our anger before we proceed. And on the hundredth time when we finally lose our temper, he sees us go before God in repentance, asking Him to help us overcome. We try to lead by example. Thus far, it is not working. I don't have the answers. And this is the first time I am exposing my shame, my vulnerability to the world. My heart is broken that this child, this challenge, may be my only child. My only child, and I am ashamed of him and myself. Think on this. Think on this when you can't understand why God is disciplining you in a way you don't understand. Think on this when you see a child acting out and you begin to wonder what is wrong with their mother. Think on this.
Wb, I am not going to insult your intelligence by asking if you have tried this, or if you have tired that, if you have cut out this additive or that additive. For I would imagine you have tried everything, just as my sister has.
My Niece sounds just like your little boy. She was twice suspended from kintergarten for biting, swearing and hitting the other children. She is now 7 and her behaviour is starting to calm..a little. My sister even had her assessed for Autism in the hope that that would explain her behaviour.
There was no answer for my sisters child. Thankfully she no longer screams as she did when a toddler so the neighbours no longer complain.
Im saying this because I have seen how a child can totally wear down a parent, and while I no advice for you I can tell you that you are not alone. An the young man that your son will become, with his strong will and his never ending enery will be the man that God can make you so proud of.
Hang in there hon, every day is a day closer to college :)
Father God, I thank you that you are the God who carries our burdens. I pray today Lord that you will carry WB as she strives to deal with the challenges of her family. Hold her Lord and strengthen her when she gets too weary.
Father I pray for her little boy too. Lord we know that you have given him a strong will for a reason, but we ask that that Will be tempered .
Lord bless this little family. In the name of your son.
You have brought compassion to my heart in sharing as you have. I have no words of advice, or words of accusations either. I hope these few words do give you encouragement. Children are not perfect, for sure, and I know of no perfect way to handle them, all the time. I seek myself.
I shared once on here about volunteering in the nursery, and remember you commenting on it. That was a challenge but I was so honored and blessed in doing that. Challenging, oh yeah. But rewarding too. I pray strength and patience, and wisdom, for you and your husband. And the love that is of God. And also those who teach and work with him. That kind that can only come from God, after all the words. God be with you Sister, and Bless.
If memory serves me right, your son also just recently came to Christ.
You're right, it is very complex. What works with one child does not necessarily work with another one. While my issues with my son were different, I remember the many times when I would throw my hands up in despair and ask God to talk to him. Hmm... I am also remembering there were a few times when I told my son that if he had an "issue" with me meaning he wanted to argue and such, he needed to take that up with God as well.
LOL! I remember one time when he looked at me and yelled, "Who made YOU boss!" Instead of getting upset, I grinned at him and said, "God!" If he had a problem with that... he'd best take that up with God. He stomped upstairs to his room and slammed the door. I think he was about six. I could hear him yelling about me to God. Grrrr I got an earful! But then... something rather interesting happened. It got rather quiet suddenly. I heard my son start to sniffle... "But... but God, she...! "But you see..." After just a few more uncompleted sentences, there was silence. Dead silence. Then I heard the door open up and a small figure appeared at the top of the stairs.
"Mom? God told I gotta listen to you."
I am praying that God teaches you how to best teach your son, your precious gift from God! Since He entrusted him to you, He WILL help you.
Mothers have such an inside road with children that it is interesting that God commands fathers to be about the work of spiritual nurture. I don't believe he means to exclude mothers. No,I think he assumes they'll do their part. But the father's influence and intentional training is so essential.
Praying that may our children find YOU<LORD in us..
Hi dear sister, I miss seeing you around here. I was gone for a very long time and have just recently returned. I see that you have not been to visit CB in some time. I hope things are OK on your end of this message.
Anyway, as I read your blog I recalled that you had shared with us that it was the high point of your day when Paulie would come running up to you to share something he had just discovered, and I had to go read that again. I so loved that idea, of us running to God and sharing something we had just discovered with Him.
Thanks so much for opening your heart in this blog. I have a secret about my child too, but I am afraid to share mine just yet. Maybe someday I will have the courage that you have shown here.
In the mean time here is something that WILL encourage you:
[quote][b]"In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls."[/b]
1 Peter 1:6-9 NIV[/quote]