Today was one of those days.
I was trying to write a post for another blog.
The kids wanted to play at my feet and look over my shoulder as I typed instead of playing on the porch.
I wanted to clean the kitchen after my big once-a-month cooking day yesterday.
Asa whined and demanded to be held while I unloaded the dishwasher.
I tried to put the toys away in the playroom because Asa was tripping on them.
Lydia wailed because I asked her to stop reading and start cleaning.
I yelled, spoke harshly to my kids, rolled my eyes and sighed heavy sighs when they disobeyed and argued.
I even texted my husband, “Please tell me you are coming home before dinner.” He wasn’t. But when he did come home, I made him play with the kids upstairs so I could do the dishes and be blissfully alone
But I didn’t feel blissful or even better. I could still feel my short fuse. I could feel my aggravation still bubbling over. And I wondered if the problem was my children’s fault or mine? Did I have a short fuse because my plate was full today? Did I roll my eyes because the kids weren’t doing what *I* wanted them to do? Did I sigh heavy sighs because they were taking me away from something I deemed more fulfilling than doing puzzles for the 82,000th time?
Tonight after the kids went to bed, I sat down to check my email (something I didn’t get to do all day!) and saw this quote from The Scream Free Institute:
“Children are contemptuous, haughty, irritable, envious, sneaky, selfish, lazy, flighty, timid, liars, and hypocrites, quick to laugh and cry, extreme in expressing joy and sorrow, especially about trifles, they’ll do anything to avoid pain but they enjoy inflicting it: little men already.” Jean de La Bruyere – Les Caracteres, 1688
Hal Runkel, author of Screamfree Parenting commented on the quote and said parents should remember we often hold our kids to higher standards. Kids imitate us AND have hearts just like us. If we want our kids to do more, act right and take responsibility, we need to do the same. Our bar has to be raised before theirs can be.
My mentor, Jim Wideman says, “The kids can only go as far as I have gone.” If I don’t pray, they won’t. If I don’t read my Bible, they won’t. If I’m not patient, loving, kind, gentle, thoughtful and selfless, the won’t be either.
I’m not excusing my children’s behavior today. Only examining my own.
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