I'm gonna be honest here.....I am trying to formulate a happy, springy, thankful post and my 7 year old is having a major meltdown in the next room! That's life for ya!! We are always presented with a choice....right now, my choices are to cave in to the screaming child and the stress she is causing me, ignore her completely and push past the situation and think happy thoughts or I can stop what I am doing and meet her where she is!!! I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.............she's quieting down........breathe........calming down the heart and the mind and the atmosphere. I'm going in......prayerfully, I'll be right back.
Okay, I made it. I really wanted to shut the crying out and just do my thing, but that's not what the job requires, is it? I hope that I'm not the only mom out there who feels that way from time to time. I see a trend that has been many years in the making. Our current culture is the perfect place for this trend to explode and work at it's best, fullest capacity. It's the unparenting movement. I don't know if it's truly called that, if anyone has coined the phrase or whatnot. It's just what I'm calling it.
Classic scene.....it all starts with a little devil called "busyness". What an ugly word!!! How many of us wave that banner? (Raise hand) Now, how many of us believe that we have no choice in that matter? It's our culture, it's life, what can we do about it?? Well I wanna tell you that even though it "appears" to be our culture and yes, everyone is doing it...okay that's a lie, everyone is NOT doing it, we don't have to be a part of that. Did you hear me? No? Okay, I'll say it again......YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A PART OF THAT!!!!! Crazy huh?
I have a feeling that you don't really believe me though. It's okay, you can tell me. That might work for you, but that's just not for me. I'll let you tell me that, but then I'm gonna tell you that you're wrong....sorry. Yes there are things that we have to do, we have to work (whether at home or out), we have to do laundry (unless you are a part of a nudist colony -I don't want to know if you are), we have to parent (if we have children).....did you realize that just having a child doesn't mean that you're parenting?
Sure you're providing the necessities, food, clothing, housing.....you may even throw in a life lesson or two. But parenting is a whole lot more than that. Now I'm still on the learning path, as I stated earlier, I would have rather just ignored that meltdown....but I couldn't. I had to stop what I was doing, even though they were important things, I had to put them aside to deal with what is at the top of my list of important things to do......parent my child. I had to teach her why she can't have a meltdown, I had to explain it in a way that she would understand it. Just yelling from the other room "knock it off" wasn't going to cut it. I know that I may be stepping on some toes here and trust me, I don't mean to, I don't even want to. This is coming from a deep place in my heart (one that is being torn open at a faster pace than I'm ready for), now that I'm involved in youth ministry.
We are seeing and hearing the stories of disconnected families....I don't want to put anyone in a state of panic, but I want us to all be a little more aware of how we interact with our children. It has to start at an early age, we have to be trained in this. It's not a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants activity and yet that's what most of us are doing. Mothers of Preschoolers is a wonderful place to start for help and support for when you're entering the early stages of parenthood (www.mops.org) but after that, what is there? Nothing. Sure there are books and seminars, maybe even some classes at a local college, I'm not sure. But what happens to the community, where's the local support, who can we do this part of life with?
The one answer I have is your local church.....talk to someone there. Youth Leaders, Childrens' Ministry leaders, prayerfully they will have resources and answers. I know that in our church we have fabulous Children and Youth staff, but sometimes that's not even enough. There's a trend in youth ministry to shift from just youth ministry to one of a parent or family based youth ministry. I hope I'm not speaking prematurely, but that is the prayer of our heart at Sharptown, to begin to shape and develop that. So that we can be a full support for parents at all stages. It excites me to think about how God is going to do that and I can't wait!!!
I hear kids say that their parents don't understand them or don't hear what they are saying and it breaks my heart. I know that it's not the parents intention to be disconnected or to not understand their kids, but let's face it......there are a lot of things fighting for our time and attention as parents. We are "busy" right? And if I'm being honest here (which I am) sometimes it's just a plain old hassle to deal with our kids. But let's not forget that when we gave birth or brought a child into our hearts and homes, we signed on for the full job, whether we truly realized that or not. Let's not forget also that there are a lot of things fighting for our childrens time and attention as well. And if we are not fully there for them, someone or something else will be. Let's begin to pray together about this problem, in our own lives as well as the lives of those in our communities and in the world.
Well, like I said, I started out wanting to do a springy, happy blog but instead we got down and dirty!! We need to do this more often.....be willing to deal with the ugly things in our lives. Let's band together and take our families back. I for one, am not willing to just leave them to the wolves!!! Who's going to stand with me?
We'll tackle the busy monster again in my next post on Thursday. I sincerely pray that you will join me again. Please feel free to leave a comment or send an email to express a certain area that you may be struggling as a parent. I don't promise to have all the answers, but I will do my best to prayerfully provide a place of learning and understanding. I will promise to pray <3
In Christ Alone <3 Lorraine