I’m writing this article after (finally) getting my two-year-old little guy to sleep. I’ll be honest, he has pushed buttons this evening. If I told him not to touch something, he’d go out of his way to get back to it and touch it again. If I told him to stop running with something pointy in his hand, he’d run faster to make me chase him. If I told him to stand up so I could brush his teeth, he’d want to sit down and clamp his mouth shut… and stifle a laugh.
Yes, he was being a bit difficult this evening.
He was being…. a two-year-old child.
The thing is, I woke up feeling rough this morning and haven’t felt well all day. This means, of course, that mommy didn’t have the energy to do a whole lot of chasing and the little guy didn’t get as much attention as he deserved.
The analysis… The poor child was trying to find ways to engage mommy, even if it was by being disobedient. He wasn’t getting the attention he is used to getting, and his behavior this evening was merely a reaction to that.
As I responded to his whining and defiance, I tried my best to remain calm and find things to praise him for, in an attempt to balance out the “no’s” he has heard today. Eventually, I finally got him to sleep (admittedly with extra cuddles and rocking him for a little while before putting him back in his bed).
We all have off days. There’s no such thing as a perfect parent. But pay attention… if you’re having an off day, notice how your child(ren) respond. Whether 2 or 17, they will respond. In fact, children are not the only ones. When you’re having an off day, notice how your spouse responds. If you can be aware of how you’re feeling and try to adjust your actions accordingly, you’ll likely keep more peace in your home. Pay attention. What do you notice?
Keri Kitchen is a devoted wife and mother, blogger, author of Love Isn’t Selfish, licensed mental health counselor, and founder of The Carys Rainn Foundation. To read more about what God is doing in her life, visit her blog at www.aftertherainn.com