Tonight my kids got in an argument. It was past their bedtime. They were both crying. They had both been mean to each other and hurt each other's feelings. I didn't want to listen to their complaints about whose fault it was. I had things to do. But I signed up for this job when I had children, and refereeing is part of the job. It makes me sad when they are mean to each other. I wish they were sweet to each other all of the time, but sometimes they are not. So I sat down on the floor outside of Carrington's bedroom and listened to both sides of the story. I asked Carrington what she did wrong to cause the fight. Then I asked Clayton what he did wrong to cause the fight. Then I asked each of them to tell me how they could have handled it better. Parenting can be a tiring and sometimes aggravating job, but it is so important that we stop and try to deal with our children when they are being selfish, mean, disobedient, etc. Those things are even more important than doing laundry, fixing lunch, or getting a Math lesson done. We can't just "make" our kids behave well on the outside. We have to work on their hearts. We have to teach them why it's not good to be selfish. We have to encourage them to be obedient out of a love for God and a love for their parents. Parenting is definitely a matter of the heart. I often pray with my kids that God would fill us with the Holy Spirit and give us the Fruit of the Spirit. I need to keep praying that prayer :o)
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23
This is an awesome parenting book! You can get it at http://www.amazon.com/. It gives you tools on how to help your kids with heart issues, and not just about making your kids behave well on the outside. It gives some really great examples of things you can say to your kids in different situations to help them see their selfishness. I have highlighted quite a bit in this book and have gone back to it several times to read different parts of it again. It has helped me to see that when I as a parent speak harshly or yell at my children, it only aids in damaging the relationship with my children. My goal as a parent is for my children to be motivated by a love and respect for their parents, but especially a love for God, and not out of fear.