Thursday, December 12, 2013

When you make your kids cry and officially feel like a cruddy parent

Sweet ice cream date with this one at his request

Let me rephrase that title lest you think I'm sitting over here plotting the ways I can induce the tears.
I promise you I'm not!
"When you end up making your kids cry and officially feel like a cruddy parent."
There.

Today wasn't "one of those days" so to speak, but this week sure was.
How are things are your house???
It's not even Christmas yet and the candy-crazed eyes are already in full force!!

This week he has gone through:
A pricey block of fudge
Half of my chocolate orange (the special kind they come out with during the holidays)
A few bag, save a few pieces, of the chocolate and cream Hershey's Drops
Handfuls of Peppermint Kisses
A box of fruit snacks (the ten pack, not Costco size!)

I hide it. Oh I try. It's up high. But this kid is monkey to the bone.
I could hang it from the ceiling and he would find some way some how to get it.
It's like sugar is some crazy magical pill that induces hypnotic circles in his eyes
that say "must eat all the candy NOW!"

Every time, he has been sorry, and apologized, but look at the list.
It keeps happening, even with good consequences and consistency.
He knows that sugar isn't good for him and we just eat it in moderation.
He knows that he needs to ask.
He could probably tell you every single rule that he should act by.
Does he though? Oh of course not and now he is really sneaky.
He hides the wrappers where we won't see them, and lies about what happened.
I heard him getting into the chocolate and cream bag and asked what he was doing.
His response? "That's Adrian eating his fruit snacks."
Right.

So, enter today and finding about five fruit snack wrappers hidden under a couch pillow.
I needed a better consequence for him. Something to make him really think about what he was doing
because sorry is great but is so often his "get out of jail free" card.
I think he's figured out that all he has to do is say a sincere, "I'm sorry" and may even mean it!
However, two seconds later that feeling is gone and something else can easily happen.

My great idea? Draw it.
I told him his consequence was to draw me an "I'm sorry" note and picture
of everything he'd taken and eaten. He was horrified.
There were many many protests.
Thing is, he doesn't like to have to feel what he did.
(I mean, who does?!) but, I knew this was important.
It's so easy to just go with whatever is the least amount of work.
(That sounds so bad but isn't it true?!)
Who wants to endure yet one more fit and protest and crying?!
Not me.
But, this time I wasn't taking the easy train out of town.
Nope.

So, picture time it was.
Kiddo was in tears.
He felt so increidbly sad about what he'd done.
At the same time, my heart was breaking, maybe even more than his!
It is hard to see your child in pain. HARD. It's hard to see them sad.
You want to just take it all away and get a smile back on that face!
It's even harder when they are in tears partly because of something you are having them do.
Hard but good to realize that tear don't always mean somethingbad.
If we only prevented tears, we would never help them discover the beauty that comes
from learning to see through the other side. If we never had rainstorms, we would never have rainbows.
Irony of life.

I had him write on the other side "Jesus loves me"
to remind him that while he might do naughty things,
he is still so loved.
Teaching about sin is not fun. It's really not.
But such an important lesson for kids to get.

None of us are perfect.
We all sin, and what we do with that knowledge is really important.
Andrew also drew a picture of his sin (a black cloud)
but also a picture of Jesus and how he died for it.
I know I know. It seems like such a big weighty thing for a 6-year-old to be dealing with
but if they can choose an action, and fully comprehend why they did it, they are accountable.

One of my favorite songs is an old one.
Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe, sin had left a crimson stain, he washed it white as snow.

I could tell Andrew was feeling the weight of what happened.
But then the relief of realizing that Jesus loved him and had forgiven him. Priceless.

Sometimes the tears, as hard as they are, are worth it for the heart change and the realization that
what we do truly does matter. I love his sweet, tender heart.


The day ended with held hands and giggles over past Christmas memories,
so I'd say not a total loss!

Now here's to hopefully, a little less sugary few weeks ahead!
(or maybe a lot more drawings to come. We'll see.)
What ironies or hard things do you deal with as a parent that are just as hard for you?

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6 comments:

  1. I am not looking forward to the days of crying, lies, and life lessons. But I am definitely ready for hand holding and conversations ;)

    That's a pretty good consequence, too. I'm always wondering how I would react in those situations.

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  2. This is the sweetest post though. Man you are a good mamma! you have to teach your kids somehow!

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  3. Motherhood is not for the faint of heart that's for sure :) Way to go mama! I love that idea!

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  4. Thank you! It has been such a learning experience! Some days I wonder what in the world to do!

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  5. It's tough! Some days I would love to just take the easy way out!

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  6. One bridge at a time! You'll get there when you get there and you'll be an amazing mom!

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