Tag Archive for: my kids are out of control

Are You a Peaceful Mom?

It took me over two and a half decades to become a peaceful mom. And I’ll admit, that some days I still fail.  

But what is interesting to me is that many of my peers who have kids well in their 20’s and 30’s are not what I would term as peaceful moms.  Instead of releasing their young adults to a God who loves them dearly, I see them still telling their kids what to do–often over-involved in their adult children’s lives.  These moms still worry and fret over what might happen and willingly use their matriarchal position as one of control. 

I used to be one of these women but I’m getting better.  It’s so freeing!  From the moment I gave birth to my first, I was driven to make sure my child was everything that I thought he was supposed to be.  I’m sure he would tell you I was the nagging mother who always took charge of his life rather than letting him fail so that he could learn from his mistakes. 

As I look back at pictures of my children growing up, I see the excess.  Too many toys, gadgets, and activities stole our peace.  There was no down-time for quiet reflection or calm.  Every aspect of our lives was constant motion.

But I’ve let go.  I’ve come to recognize that peace comes from letting God be God rather than me trying to make sure that my kids have every opportunity that I can afford and are perfect in all things.

I look at the contrast of my daughter-in-law’s approach to parenting to the way I parented.  She exudes such peace in words and responses to her crying infant.  The gentleness in the way she interacts as she soothes and comforts him are unlike anything I’ve witnessed before.  And “things” are not a priority.  She wants her son to enjoy the simple things in life without the over-stimulation.

Becoming a peaceful mom is more than just a mindset.  It’s an examination of our heart.  Are we building a healthy foundation within ourselves such that we see Christ as Lord?  I love how April Cassidy puts it, “We have to examine the throne of our heart.”

Mindset says, “Worry is love, I have to figure everything out, control means protection, I am always right…”  Allowing God to sit on the throne means that I am willing to examine my heart to probe my motives and priorities during my time with Him.  It means that I recognize that my behaviors are attached to my fears, dreams, and feelings.  It means that I’m willing to look at myself and examine my prideful objective.  

Psalm 139:23-24

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Are you feeling an “ouch” like I am?

No one said that becoming a peaceful mom was going to be easy.  God will use the context of our parenting to get our attention to who we truly are as our kids have a way of bringing out our worst.  It is when we see that we’ve become the person that we never wanted to be or that our children are turning to the very things we most feared that we are then willing to examine our hearts. 

We have to understand that when our emotions are churning and our thoughts are in turmoil and we would do anything to control the circumstance, being at peace means that we accept that God needs to be God in the lives of our children.  It means we have to get “self” out of the way so that God will parent our children through our words and actions.  It is letting our “Jesus” show to our kids even in difficult circumstances and times of conflict.

April says it so well in her book, The Peaceful Mom, “When my trust is 100 percent in the Lord, His goodness, and sovereignty, I can face even the most difficult trials with the supernatural peace of God flooding my soul.  If I truly believe He knows best and I rest in His promises, I can entrust Him with sickness, hardships, suffering, and even death.”

Psalm 23:4

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;

Parenting can be a challenging road for all of us as moms.  Even on our best days, we don’t always get it right.  But if you are like most of us, you want to be a great mom to your kids.  As April so eloquently writes, “We want to model healthy ways of relating and living for our children in every area of our lives.  We long for tranquility, harmony, and joy in our families.”

Yes, that is what I want!

If you want to become your very best for your family, I want to encourage you to read April Cassidy’s new book, The Peaceful Mom. There you will find real-life stories and opportunity for  introspection as you look at how you parent based on scripture.  If you are like most of us who struggle with living vicariously through our kids’ lives, this book will help you put life back into balance.

Regardless of whether you have a three-month old or a 30 year old, The Peaceful Mom offers insight into our struggles that will facilitate growth in us if we are willing to look deep within.  Even on our toughest day as a parent, April gives us a prescription for finding His peace.

2 Corinthians 9:8

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.

“Let go…and Let God”,

If you are specifically struggling with tweens and teens, With All Due Respect: 40 Days to a More Fulfilling Relationship with Your Teens & Tweens will help you examine the very things April talks about in her book.  The peace we all want as moms comes with introspection.  If you want growth as a mom and are longing for that tranquility, harmony, and joy in your home, instead of the conflict and struggles, we’re here to walk through the difficulties of parenting with you.  This book is practical.  It gives you the “what to say and how to say it” in a way that brings encouragement to your teens.

Why not grab a few friends and go through the book together?  It makes a great Bible Study where you can invite your non-christian friends and it won’t feel threatening. 

Or, if you prefer, we offer an on-line community where you’ll make new friends who are going through the book.  There you will find video teaching and encouragement.  I’m in there daily to answer questions and will coach you through your specific struggles in your parenting.  It’s like having women who have already been there take your hand and walk beside you.  Hope you’ll join us!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are You a Mom of Strength and Dignity?

Dare 18 in With All Due Respect seems to be a favorite among many of the women who read the book.  Every time I’ve led a group, as soon as moms read it they immediately want to talk about it. We laugh because that is the mom we want to be.

Why?

Most tell me they would never have the strength to do what the mom did in the dare.  But most have agreed they’ve thought about it.

Hmm…

Why is it that as moms, we feel that our job is to do everything that our kid asks us, even if they have a bad attitude or are bossy?  Why is it that we will let our kids walk all over us in a situation yet turn around and do whatever they’ve asked us to do as long as they’ve apologized and are now nice to us?

Does the apology from them negate a consequence and therefore get in the way of a teaching moment?

I’m guessing that a lot of us tend to be pleasers when it comes to our kids.  

In the book How We Love by Milan and Kay Yerkovich we can get a glimpse of our behaviors in the parent/child relationship. Some of us find it difficult to allow our children to feel any pain if it might be construed by them as coming from us.  After all, as parents we want our kids to feel our love.  It’s natural to want their happiness and to want to give.  But at what cost?

Here are just a few of the clues that help us assess if we might be swinging the pendulum too far into the happiness category for our kids rather than becoming a mom who allows pain in our kid’s lives in order to teach the values we want them to grasp.

  1. With my kids, I feel like I give and give, yet they take advantage and don’t respond with an attitude of gratitude.
  2. I try to be the peacemaker with my kids so that conflict is minimized.
  3. Sometimes I’ll withhold information or change the situation slightly to avoid a battle.
  4. When there is conflict, I tend to give in just to avoid the frustration.
  5. I don’t like it when my kids pull away and are upset with me.
  6. When my kids ask me for help, I have trouble saying no.  I am willing to lose sleep or put other responsibilities on the back burner to say yes to my kids.
  7. I have difficulty standing up for my own needs when it comes to something with my kids.

If you responded yes to any of these, you might be a pleaser.  And know that pleasers tend to want to avoid anything that makes them feel anxious.  They tend to parent out of fear of losing the kids they love so much.

Several years ago I was talking with a counselor/friend.  In our discussion his words to me went something like this, “Kids need to learn that relationships are intended to be give and take.  That means bi-directional.  You give; they give.  That’s how we create deep, lasting connection.”

Oh, my.  This one hit me hard.  How many times have I given in to my kids just because they quickly apologized and became the sweet angels I knew they were capable of being?  How many times have I missed a teaching opportunity?  I know from experience that at times I’ve avoided disagreement rather than teach my kids how to navigate conflict well.

Being a mom of strength and dignity means that we are willing to set boundaries to protect ourselves.  We’re willing to step into conflict if need be to help our kids realize that relationship is a two-way street.  It means we will choose to not be manipulated by our kid’s quick change of behavior to get what they want.  It means that our ‘yes’ is ‘yes’ and our ‘no’ is ‘no’.

 It means that we are willing to show them that just like they are precious, we are precious.

Moms of strength and dignity aren’t forceful and controlling in their boundary setting with their kids; however, they are willing to be firm as they teach their children that our world does not revolve around them.  We are willing to introduce them to the fact that even as mom, we have feelings and needs, too.

Galatians 1:10 

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Proverbs 31:25

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.

Dare you to assess the level of respect in your home and become the mom of strength and dignity that He has called you to be.  It’s not too late to learn to respect yourself as you parent.  If you do, you’ll be teaching your children the true meaning of honor and respect.

“Let go…and let God”,

If you really struggle with becoming a mom of Strength and Dignity, we want to encourage you to join our With All Due Respect on-line eCourse.  From the convenience of your home you’ll have opportunity to go through the book with moms who are where you are in the struggle.  There you will find encouragement, a place to ask questions, and videos to help you in the parenting journey. 

We hope you will join us!

Dare ya!