My son is fourteen.
Wait, no, he’s four.
He thinks he’s a teenager already, but in reality, he’s still my sweet little preschooler.
My son has always been passionate; passionate about the answer “No”, and passionate about having his way. Which, if I think about it, these things may be a wonderful characteristic to have later in life. But for now, these traits of his have been causing my hair to turn prematurely gray.
In my short time as a parent, I have always had the same goal; Do not yell or lose my patience with my children.
I know, sort of humanly impossible to lose patience from time to time, but I’m determined to love on my children even more when they are being disobedient.
Because the bible is clear that responding to our children with anger, only causes more anger (in both parent and child). I did a quick study of just a few bible verses that state this.
So, for fun, let’s paint a picture of a time where your child might choose to act disobediently. Maybe you’ve asked them to put their shoes away for a third time, and they give you that look like, “No thanks, I’ve got better things to do”. We may start to feel the anger begin to burn in our chests, and we may typically start shouting at this point, but what if we called to mind Proverbs 15:1, which states, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger”.
I’m not sure if that verse could be any clearer. When our child begins to whine about putting their shoes away, the appropriate response from us, their mother, is to respond GENTLY.
Now, I get it. How can you respond gently when your veins feel like they may pop out of your neck?
Pray. Pray silently. Pray loudly. By all means, shout out a prayer. Sure, your kids may give you a weird look, but the important thing has been done; you’ve surrendered your anger to God, and in return you are more likely to respond GENTLY as to CALM the dispute, tantrum, or disagreement. The verse goes on to say that if we do the opposite, (respond back with a yelling voice) we increase the chances of raising our child’s wrath.
We have to ask ourselves; do I want my child(ren) to grow up to be a yeller? Is this a trait that we’d find in God?
Friends, I believe becoming a non-yelling parent doesn’t happen overnight. I wish it did, but I believe as with most things in life, this practice of calm parenting, takes time and effort. Some moms may need more effort, especially if they grew up in homes where yelling was the norm. The important thing is just to continue trying. Ask for forgiveness, accept grace, and try again.
A FEW MORE VERSES TO STUDY:
Proverbs 15:4: “The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit”.
Proverbs 15: 18: “A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel”.