On the best of days with the most awesome kids, as moms, we end up exhausted and feeling like failures.
I drew you into this post by making you think I had some worthwhile tips but if the truth be known, my tips won’t be a quick fix and might not even work!!
Some of you are raising children who were ‘born’ into your family and some of my readers have children who are ‘labors-of-the-heart.’ You might even be the guardian for the children you are raising.
I just wanted to be sure that you know that I am talking right to you in whatever circumstance the Lord has placed in your hands.
Just know. The Lord is ‘in’ on your circumstances. Even when you don’t feel His presence, He sees all you are doing and cares infinitely for you.
Even to day is my complaint bitter: my stroke is heavier than my groaning. Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat! ~Job 23:1-2~
When I hear of the struggles that some of you are having, my heart hurts along with yours because I have walked in a deep chasm through parenting.
I have seven children and one faithful loving husband.
Three of those 7 are adopted.
It was hard.
It was good.
Would I do it over?
In a heartbeat!
Would I do a better job?
I would sure try but I am a fallen human who is bound to fail outside of Jesus Christ.
So many homes are struggling.
Dads are busy working long hours so mothers can stay home with the kids.
Dysfunctional relationships are more prevalent than ever before.
Wives and children are being abandoned by their husbands for a younger woman at an alarming rate.
Scandal is rising to the surface in churches and para-church organizations like never before.
It is affecting the children.
They are confused, angry, and expressing their feelings in more and more defiant ways than in previous generations.
Yes, I know. Nothing is new under the sun. But don’t you think we are seeing the teeter-totter slamming down harder and more often than 20 or even 50 years ago?
More grandparents are caring for grandkids 24/7 than I ever saw before.
We all have about 5 friends (at least) who are divorced and maybe even on their second marriage.
You probably know several people who have taken in Foster Children or who have adopted through the Foster Care system of your state.
We are a hurting generation.
Mamas are hurting because they are the primary care-givers who daily get the back-lash of feelings slammed into their hearts.
- Is your child pent up with anger seemingly towards others or you?
- Does your child lash out at you with words of defiance and disrespect?
As a younger mom, I made the mistake of allowing my child to argue and debate with me over instructions or commands.
I couldn’t see this at the time. I was so immersed in surviving the moment.
Have you ever seen a mother who tells a child to do something and then starts counting? That child is NOT going to obey until his mom gets to THREE!!
The same goes with raising your voice. I was clueless on how to make my children obey immediately for a long time. Too often I raised my voice as if that would make them hear better!
There are many books out there with many thoughts on how to raise children. Most of these books I never found useful. I also found it hard to glean ideas out of Proverbs. I wasn’t too good at studying the Bible back then although I tried to be faithful in reading it.
Regaining Authority When Your Respect has Been Lost
- To gain respect, a mom must cause her children to obey her word.
- Speak a command just one time, calmly and clearly.
- To regain lost respect, authority must be taken completely back, once and for all.
- The mom who shares authority with a child, and then occasionally attempts to take it back and exercise it, will only be resented.
- Do not allow your child to argue with you, or show you any other disrespect. (the above is adapted from Child Training Tips: What I wish I knew when my children were young by Reb Bradley
Why Child Training is NOT the Total Answer
Even if you faithfully and successfully follow all those awesome tips from Reb Bradley, I am sorry, but it won’t be enough!
Child training isn’t the answer although it sure helps to make for a more peaceful home.
Without your child being totally surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ, all the child training in the world will do no good.
Even if your child acts like a good Christian and goes to church for his whole life, if he does NOT know God, all the child training in the world was useless.
Even if you as a mother totally failed to implement every single child training tip in all the books on the topic combined, your child could still chose Jesus.
I would recommend having discipline in your home, but your child turning out for Christ doesn’t hinge on that!
It Hinges on the Heart!
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” ~Proverbs 4:23~
I reached a point that I noticed that all my 7 children could:
- Sit through church
- They could sit listening as I read aloud to them (but be totally zoned-out) while homeschooling
- And they could clean our home from top to bottom
- But some of them were only doing it on the outside because on the inside they were rebelling to authority.
What is in the heart eventually comes out.
Often in words and actions.
We can teach our children to follow Christ the best we know how but then it is up to THEM to step out and follow.
We canNOT make them follow Jesus.
It is a choice they have to make of their own free will.
5 Tips for Moms of the Difficult Child
I could go on and on if we were sitting together at my kitchen table. You could pick my brain for ideas that might work in your situation.
I promised some tips.
I can’t promise the outcome I know you desire with all of your heart.
I don’t have a good track record myself with 3 wholeheartedly following the Lord and 4 who are not.
- Pray fervently
- Tell yourself everyday, “I am doing good!” “I am making a difference”
- When the kids take their frustrations out on you, tell yourself, “It is not me they are mad at” and let those feelings of inadequacies fall onto Jesus.
- When nothing you ever do seems to be enough, KNOW that Jesus is ENOUGH!!
- When you feel defeated and sad as you lay your head down at night (and get up with that heavy feeling still lingering) QUICKLY put on some peaceful uplifting godly music that reminds you of God’s faithfulness and how much He cares.
My Challenge to YOU!! Share how this encouraged you today. Write down my suggestions where you will remember them.
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