Confession time…I am coming out of a period of time when I yelled at my kids a lot. I was tired and living pretty unorganized. My kids would not do what I asked or just be rowdy and it was easier to just snap and yell than it was to stop and train.
It’s pretty common for a parent to snap and yell once in awhile…it happens. But for a couple of months there, it was becoming more the norm for me. I think I knew it was getting the best of me but I kept telling myself, tomorrow I’ll try harder and do better.
Then about a month ago, my husband sat down with me and told me I needed to stop yelling so much. OUCH! That was hard to take. My first response was defensive…the kids just won’t do what I ask until I yell at them. But I knew he was right and I needed to get it back in control.
So how do I keep it under control…
First, I had to apologize to my kids. It’s important as a parent to go back and apologize when you are wrong. They learn from our examples…they were learning from my bad example of yelling, now it was important for me to go back and teach them what to do when you are wrong. Kids forgive. I love that about kids.
Second, I needed accountability. This could not be my husband because I know I would get too defensive. So I humbled myself and talked to a Christian friend about it. She told me that she had experienced times like these and she prayed with me. She agreed to ask me about how I am doing from time to time. I agreed to call her if I was having a bad day. Something about humbling yourself enough to tell your struggle to someone else really motivates you to make a real change.
Most importantly, I have to rely on God.
So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:21-25
This, like all other sin, is a spiritual battle. I have to fight the sin that is within me. I cannot do that alone. Only with God’s strength can I control sin nature and instead do the good that I want to do.
I have to start each day anew and ask His help. He can help me take control of my day instead letting my day take control of me. I have to constant keep discussing my day with God and asking Him for wisdom. I have to listen to His leading and know when I need to give myself a minute alone to keep control.
Praise God! With His help, I have been able to get things back under control. I know that I will still snap now and then, but I do not want this to be the way I parent my kids. My job as parent is to train my children to listen and obey…yelling just doesn’t do that. It takes work and effort to be a parent. Sometimes we don’t want to put in the time and patience it takes to train, but that is the only way.
I will take it moment by moment, day by day.
I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13