By "tempers" I mean that there are a couple of children around here that are getting a bit big for their britches in the way that they act and talk. ECJ is in the pre-teen stage (*shudder*) where of course he thinks he knows everything, is everyone's boss, and makes snarky little comments that he doesn't always think we hear. YCJ thinks she's almost 19 instead of 9 and her tone of voice and the way she treats her siblings grates on my nerves most days. I hear myself often saying to the two of them... "Watch your tone!", "Don't look at me in that tone of voice!", and "Oh, so you know God's plan and everything that anyone else says is completely wrong other than you, right?"
Nope, not always the best approach to these matters. I tend to be a bit "smart mouthed" as well, which isn't the best thing for me to do as a role model. Daddy's also got a bit of a "smart mouth" at times. We understand that at this point we're telling them, "Do as we say and not as we do." Yeah, it's a bit hypocritical. I'm working on my "attitude" and so is Daddy, so I've switched gears with how I respond to a more of a "See? I don't have to be smart mouthed to get my point across and neither do you." approach.
Peanut's constantly whining at this point. Sometimes she doesn't even wait to see if the answer to her question is a yes she simply begins to whine. We've spoiled her and we know it. She's the youngest, we almost lost her when she was born, she was born early, didn't talk more than two words until she was almost three (after several long months of speech therapy), and was diagnosed as legally blind (and her vision gets worse constantly) at around two years old. We spoiled her because we love her so much. Yes, we love all of our children, but she was the only one to ever present with so many issues. She was tiny when she was born and we were frightened. The bigger she got the more we spoiled her. She's our last "baby". And now we reap what we have sown all of these years. Putting our foot down with her hurts us to the bone and yet we must or she'll never get beyond this point and will expect everyone to just do what she wants her whole life, we'd be doing her a terrible injustice.
Mumble... Groan... Snark... Complain... Whine... Yell... Scream... *Sigh*
This is not how I envisioned our days. I knew years ago that this stage would come with ECJ, as it happens with most teens and those approaching their teenage years. I was aware that YCJ, like myself when I was younger, would reach this stage prior to her teen years. I didn't look beyond the moment with Peanut and now we see the results.
My children are wonderful most of the time. Giving, loving, kind, generous, and joyous to be around. Then there's those few moments, nearly every day, that I want to wash their mouths out with soap... Or lock them in a room until they work it out amongst themselves... Or scream to the Heavens, "Lord, what am I doing wrong?!?!"
And, yet I know that their attitudes are partly due to their ages. I know that they're grumpiness is caused in part to my own, their snarkiness they've learned from their parents, and we've caused most of the whining by giving in when we should have stood firm.
I've resolved again to do the Orange Rhino Challenge , I'm spending time each day praying and taking steps to improve my own attitude and how it manifests itself, and I'm attempting to be a better role model.
In the meantime I've given the children some "tempers" rules to follow:
- If you pull a "temper" with someone, family or not, you must sincerely apologize.
- If you pull a "temper with that same person you must do one act of kindness for each time you pulled a "temper".
- If you continue with your "tempers" you must write a letter of apology on top of the acts of kindness.
- If the "temper" lasts for more than a day you are secluded to your room, other than mealtimes, prayer time, and personal needs until you can show that you'll treat others with the same respect you want them to treat you with.
We'll see how it goes. We're all guilty of "tempers" in this household, and poor weather makes our attitudes worse not better, but we'll eventually get to the point where instead of a daily thing they happen rarely...
At least that's the idea.
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