An Embarrassing Parenting Moment
It was supposed to be a joyous occasion, where the families of our little man’s preschool class could come together to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
I was excited to finally get to know the other families and watch our children play together. Dressed to impress, I sauntered into the preschool Christmas party ready to meet new mom friends and enjoy a time of fellowship.
From the first moment, I could see my hopes were dashed as my child acted out and embarrassed me to the core.
The other children were playing nicely, while mine was running around screaming (shrieks of joy, but still screams!) or melting down at any given moment. Plus, he was hitting and being aggressive, but in his own way, this was fun and games.
I wanted to hide under the table, mortified by my child’s behavior! More than anything I wanted him to calm down and behave like the other kids.
Instead of new mom friends, all I received was glaring looks of pity or irritation. That day will always be with me as a reminder not of great embarrassment, but of my poor reaction to his behavior.
My Poor Reaction
I remember in my humiliation, God’s gentle whisper of hope for my son, reminding me of His perfect acceptance of me at the cross and His free gift of grace. Gone were the feelings of irritation and frustration as I came face to face with my own glaring flaws and remembered who I am; a sinner, just like my child. Being his parent means lavishing grace freely, loving him in spite of his struggles and praying through his hyper and aggressive behavior.
Besides the strategies we’re using to improve his behavior, I needed to hit my knees and pray for change for both of our imperfect hearts. As I’ve accepted his strong, wild personality, my heart for my child has changed and has included fervent prayers in the following areas.
Self-control does not come easily to my boy. In fact, it’s a down-right struggle. Being both hyper and aggressive, he has struggled at school (even at three years old!) with self-control.
If you’re the parent of an aggressive and hyper child, guide him/her along this path by talking about self-control and praying for this with your child.
Praise in those moments of restraint and help him/her work through this behavior in times of struggle.
I’ve realized that I need to be a great model of self-control, by reigning in my feelings and temper in his fits. And when I stumble and fall, I use those moments as teachable times to ask his forgiveness.
2.) A Calm Spirit
There are times when I can almost feel his wild spirit rage as the energy radiates from him. In those moments, I pray for God’s gentle presence to bring peace and calming to his fierce spirit.
When you feel your child is out of control, remember that God is in control.
Pray that His mighty, gentle Spirit will invade your child and still the wildness.
Your child’s temperament does not take God by surprise. In fact your child was molded in His image, and God does not make mistakes.
Also pray that as your child grows and matures, he/she will begin to recognize the signs of hyper, aggressive behavior and use strategies to calm and reign himself in.
3.) Intervention and Ways to Manage
As I pray for the growth of my son, I pray that God will lead us to ways to help him thrive despite his behavior.
In a society quick to medicate and issue a label, my prayer is that the Lord will give us wisdom and strategies to manage these behaviors and tangible ways to help him experience success.
Parents, do you have strategies for success that help your child? Currently we use essential oils, a modified diet, and consistent parenting to help him grow and manage himself, but I always enjoy hearing what works for other families. Please share with me your struggles and victories in the comment section below.
My mother’s heart breaks when I see students and even teachers keep their distance from him. I understand that he is a handful and can be hard to take, so I pray acceptance over him.
I’m sure I am not alone in this, either. Parents, let’s pray that God will soften the hearts of those people around our spirited children. May He give these outsiders understanding and the ability to look past behaviors.
May our children find friends who offer acceptance and model self-control. May teachers bestow grace time and time again, modeling patience and understanding. As a parent, may I continuously be a reflection of Christ’s love and mercy, even on those days when my limits have been pushed.
Through it all, may we as parents learn to lean on God’s strength in those tough moments and to surrender our child back to God, knowing He will continue the good works He began.
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