Have you ever wondered why you were blessed with your child? With all the different temperaments in the world to be put together, God has placed you and your child together. Sometimes it's almost funny to see how similar or contrasting a parent and child's personalities are. There are times that I have thought “What in the world were you thinking, God?" Do you really think this child with this personality can live under a roof with me for 18 years? Is this some kind of joke? But I always get reassured that it is no joke just a character building experience that I will endure for several seasons until I have grown spiritually and emotionally. We think that we are the teachers and role models for our kids- but actually they are helping mold us into the people God intended for us to be.
My own character has definitely evolved throughout the years. For instance, seven years ago before I had children, I tended to have an impatient streak. When I was out in public and heard a child crying or having a temper tantrum, in my infinite childless wisdom I thought, “Why can't they control their child?" You see I thought when I had kids they wouldn't be like that. Nope, my precious little darlings would never act that way. Then reality set in as I carted a tired toddler around who had missed lunch and realized it was I who was clueless. The last six years have certainly taught me a lot not to mention a major dose of patience.
I believe we are all put in circumstances with others that stretch us out of our comfort zones. In the beginning, you don't understand why a mom would have a out in out battle with a small child right in the middle of the food court. Then you experience firsthand your child's first public temper tantrum and reason that you can stop it with a little discipline. You soon realize that all you can do is get your screaming child to the nearest exit with the least amount of attention drawn to you.
Whether we like it or not we are constantly put in situations that build our character. We have two choices. One- we can embrace them, turning them into a teachable moment for our children to show them that along with life comes some setbacks and learning experiences. Or our second choice is we can fight them every step of the way, teaching our children from example the hard way to handle things. Our kids are little sponges observing and absorbing everything we do and say.
Modeling is important because this is the major way children learn the values they will cling to for the rest of their lives. If you want your child to be polite then don't cuss out the guy who cut you off at the intersection. If you want a happy well-adjusted child who is at peace most of the time, then you guessed it- you better make sure your lifestyle is happy and peaceful. You are the most important person in your child's world. If you have behaved badly lately and reacted with hostility to your child's temper tantrums then it's not too late for you. You can change, thus changing your child's behavior. Changes are difficult for everyone but you need to ask yourself what is more important. Clinging viciously to the destructive tug of war rope with your child or becoming the role model who drops the rope and calmly makes your request. We are all part of a learning experience. By letting down our guard and admitting to our child that we make mistakes sometimes and apologize for past actions you are not only building your own character, but you are building the future moral character of your child.
Beth Rimstidt is a stay at home mom of two young children. She is passionate about helping parents teach children how to gain the favor of God by learning his promises, character and laws. For further information visit http://www.child-bible-lessons.com to find free, kid friendly lessons that grab a child's attention while teaching them God's precious word.