When children disobey, parents have a choice to make. Do we react or do we respond? I have been so emotionally spent by my children’s disobedience sometimes, that I just went to my room and knelt with my face on my knees. Better that than screaming.
It’s not the disobedience itself, the action, that bothers me, as much as the attitude behind it. I want their hearts. Just like God wants my heart.
And it reminds me all over again about the great battle going on over me. Do I choose to love God with all my heart? Or do I slip away and do my own thing now and then, because it’s so much fun?
Besides walking away when I feel angry, I also know that I need to address their behavior later plus give them consequences (no privileges, for instance). Words are not enough.
They apologize and I say “I forgive you” but – again – words are not enough. We just read the story of Eli and his two disobedient sons for our devotional this week. What a stern reminder to apply consequences when children disobey, not just words. I don’t want to fall in that trap.
I am all about talking and discussing what happened. But tempers must be under control and many times it is better to say, “We will talk about this later.” And then you go calm down further before you talk to them and before administering consequences.
One point that deserves consideration: Are they tired and overstimulated? Maybe they just need quiet time, if not a full-fledged nap. Some days I know I cannot function anymore after 3pm. How much more a small child?