My kid is driving me crazy!

 Family Fighting

 

I’ve been hearing this from a lot of moms lately.  I think it’s directly related to several weeks of polar vortex, during which “cabin fever” has morphed into  “housebound psychosis”, aggravated by children who seem to push every button (figuratively and literally!).  Eventually, you find yourself barking at your child, “I love you, but I don’t like you very much right now!”

I don’t have the market on sanity (believe me), but I know this for sure:  when I’m annoyed with my kids, most of the time I just need to see them differently.  To recognize that the way God made them is for a purpose, and if I look hard enough, my irritation can be transformed into joy.

As a child, you could often find me holed up in my bedroom, either reading or writing.  That room was my sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of a busy household, where I could listen to my favorite music and process my innermost thoughts.  I may have, once or twice (or a thousand times), snuck off to my room right around the time dishes needed to be done or when the house was full of company…which was often, growing up with parents who were copiously hospitable.

Looking back now, I can see how my behavior might have been tagged as lazy or anti-social.  I’m sure those tendencies drove my family members crazy at times.  In actuality, those character traits were early indicators of the gifts and abilities God gave me.  Even though I had no idea I would grow up to be a writer, I was in the beginning stages of honing that craft.  Also, though I had never even heard the term “introvert”, I was learning how to reenergize and function in an abundantly social daily life.  (Did I mention there were always extra people in our house?)

Philippians 4:8 tells us to focus on the positive things in life, and nothing could be more valuable than seeing what is excellent in our children.  However, we tend to zoom in on those irritating factions of our child’s personality.  The truth is, those traits actually point to a strength!  It’s all a matter of perspective and choosing to focus on what is lovely and admirable.

What we see as weakness, God has given as an asset.  When we change our thinking and focus on what is actually true, we are better able to guide them down the path God has marked out for them.  Also, it makes for a much more peace-filled home!

Here are a few examples to get you started looking for the praiseworthy attributes in your kiddos:

 TRAIT                                                                  STRENGTH

Argues about everything                                   Won’t buckle to peer pressure,
(always has to be right)                                     high self esteem
Stubborn                                                              Determination, dedication
Risk taker                                                              Leadership
Curious to a fault                                                 Problem solver
Oversensitive                                                       Compassionate
Obsessively neat                                                 Organizational ability
Class clown                                                          Able to diffuse tension, charming

In addition to adjusting the mindset, you can build up your child by pointing out the strengths you see.  This helps them begin to realize where their talent lies and (hopefully) build on it.

What are some other traits you can see as strengths?  Please share!

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”  Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

 

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2 Comments

  1. Kristi Brockberg
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Lisa. I needed to read this today–probably a lot earlier since my kids had today off from school! This perspective really helps. I also need to remember that sometimes my strengths can be stressors on my kids when they are different from me. I can drive them crazy!

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