No doubt thanks to someone’s inane but much-touted childrearing advice, many parents think kids should be entertained 24/7. Add this to the “new information!!!!!” that kids should also make decisions for which they have neither the training, maturity, nor understanding to make, and you have frustrated and unattractive children on the loose. Everywhere.
When my kids were acting up and acting out I had the wisdom (because of going to and believing and trusting God’s Word) to know I was the key. They needed me to be a warrior not a whiner, a problem solver, not a problem lamenter. They needed me to look in the mirror and say, “Bev, are you a mother or milquetoast?”
They needed me to be wise to their manipulative and selfish ways, not a pudding or a jello, quivering at the very thought of my precious and perfect little ones not having everything they want every minute of the day. They needed me to be a no-nonsense responder to their childish nonsense. (Sorry to all child-worshippers, but the last thing anyone on earth needs is for their needs to be the most important thing on earth.)
The parental response of “Find something to do or I’ll find something for you to do,” (and this didn’t mean something electronic) has been replaced with a horror of boredom.
Hold it. Whoa. Stop right there. Boredom can be a very good thing. Boredom fosters creativity and thinking. As I told my kids on the rare occasions (kids learn quick what works and what backfires bigtime) they complained of boredom, “I’ve never been bored in my life. I’m both simple enough and wise enough to be fascinated with God’s world.”
Translation: Go play in the creek or chase lizards, or build a new fort, or make a train out of the fold-up chairs in the garage. Go dig in the dirt or have a tea party with your dolls. Just go and do and don’t tell me you’re bored.
I didn’t care if they simply sat on the back porch and dreamed of fighting pirates in a storm at sea, sighing at the “boredom” of their lives. I didn’t care if they climbed a tree and listened to the birds all day long, or did nothing at all. What I cared about was the attitude that their lack of ability to amuse themselves was not only my problem, it was my fault.
Sometimes we as moms have to sit on our urge to make everything perfect and beautiful for our little darlings. We have to disabuse ourselves of the FALSE notion that the world will end and they will graduate at the bottom of the class if they even for one minute do nothing.
Doing nothing at all, but without a “poor little bored me” attitude, is a good thing. Because in such times some very important things are happening in a child’s brain: they are becoming thinkers, even philosphers. They are being programmed as God intended, becoming the programmers of their own lives, the masters of their own thinking, discerners of the lies that masquerade under the guise of “new information!!!”
So here’s some new information: Put the lens of common sense and the Word of God and the tried and true on your new information and see if it passes the test of workable parenting (that is parenting resulting in kids who are joys and joyous, rather than frustrated terrors).
If you and the world at large do not enjoy your children, your “new information!!!!” is faulty, to put it mildly. In John Parker-speak, it is “the sheet of the boool”.
Parents, we’re IT! We must be the adults (do the hard thing without whining) so that our children can be children (we make the decisions so they can grow in peace to the place where they can make decisions which are age and maturity appropriate).
Again, we are to be the adults, folks. It’s wrong to rob a child of their childhood because we don’t want to grow up. Your kids never asked for you as a parent. They are the victims or the victors, depending on your choices.
So here’s something to try: do nothing for awhile, every single day. Think it through, pray it through. Develop your parenting philosophy based on the knowledge of who your child is and what God intends parenting to be (see how He parents us – there’s a bit of sacrifice involved). Exchange knee-jerk, angst and anger filled parenting with a spiritual, mental, and physical grace dance.
Elaboration of this and so much more in just a couple of hours on The Homefront Show. Tune in and tell a friend:
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Today, Friday, May 18 at 2:00 Mountain Time