Another thought from from “Desperate: Hope For the Mom Who Needs to Breathe” by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson. They say:
So many moms try to micromanage every single behavioral issue with their children and feel a need to win every battle, especially when they are young. As I observe how God treats me, I realize that I keep learning and growing in my weaknesses, sometimes in areas I was not even awar of. It seems He shows me one area at a time.
And yet, other parents let their children misbehave and be out of control so much of the time that their children are a burden to all who come into their wake.
And so discipline is an issue of training, little by little, year after year. Do not expect a toddler to behave like an older child who naturally has more self-control and maturity. Learning to be consistent in teaching and training is a way of life. It is quite exhausting if a parent makes everything an issue for the child and the parent. And be sure to enjoy each stage of your children-have fun, giggle, distract, lighten up, and win their hearts. Children are more likely to respond to discipline if they feel loved and affirmed. Be sure to extend grace to your young children, and also make sure they have lots of time to play outdoors to wear out their energy and fill their need for activity.
This kind of hit me between the eyes, so to speak. For a while there, I was so concerned about getting the right behavior out of my child, that I wasn’t really enjoying my child. Certainly, life will never be 100% enjoyable – not with a child. Not with a spouse. Not with myself. There will always be “I wish I didn’t have to do this” moments. But I had forgotten to ENJOY HIM! I had forgotten that he was still VERY YOUNG!
I heard it once that “Children define love this way: P-L-A-Y!” and “Your child’s favorite toy is you.” May I remember that more often!