Our kids are always watching
When I use the bathroom there is an audience. When I shower there is an audience. Cook, clean, and drink my coffee all done with an audience. Honk at the car in front of me, which is sitting stationary at the green light, done in front of an audience. Stub my toe and unleash a torrent of, hopefully, G rated explanation marks and my kids are there to see and hear it. You get the idea, no matter what I’m doing or saying someone is always around to witness it. I try, and often fail, to be a good example. I want my words to be encouraging and kind. I want my actions to model the lessons I am trying to teach my kids. But it is exhausting! No one can be “on stage” 24/7 without making some mistakes. I am learning to admit to my kids when I was wrong. My toddler is great at calling me out when I have used a mean word or acted unkind. It hurts my pride to say, yes mommy was wrong, and to ask forgiveness. But it is the right thing to do and it is good for me and for my kids. By dealing correctly with my own, inevitable, mistakes I hope to teach my kids how to face their mistakes.
Applause! Applause! Here is a standing ovation for you! This parenting thing is your most demanding performance and you are doing a great job.
“Mommy why did you stop the car?” “Because there is a stop sign.” “Why do we stop at the stop sign?” “Because we have to so we don’t get into an accident.” “Why?” “Because we have to.” ”But why? “I don’t know! We just do!”
Conversations like this are a non stop occurrence in my house, car, and shopping cart. Wherever my toddler is, a never-ending stream of questions is not far behind. I know these are teachable moments but they can also be trying moments. I feel like I need a Google widget at my disposal 24/7. Then when a construction truck drives by I can say, “that’s a giant excavator” instead of “hey there goes a scooper digger thing.” Although, for the record, I am well versed in all things construction thanks to extended viewings of Bob the Builder 🙂
I know that as my kids get older they will out grow the “why” phase. They will still have questions, but will stop looking to mom for all the answers. That is a scary thought, not because I have all the answers, but because I can decide what they are exposed to. My earnest prayer is that I can equip them to find answers in the right places. Somehow, in spite off the craziness of our days, I want them to see me living a life full of Jesus. So they will turn to Him first when they are seeking answers.
Lord help me show grace and forgiveness to my children just as you have shown it to me. Help me model your love and joy to them. I pray when they have questions and are seeking, they seek you first.
And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good. -2 Thessalonians 3:13