Little Mimic

8 Jan

One sentence broke my heart for my children.  My son was actually saying it to be a smart mouth, and yet, God used it to crumble the rest of myself into a puddle of apologies and tears for last year.

“You never read the Bible to me.”

I –

We –

Well –

I mean, come on… what really can I say? We pray before meals, we go to church, we talk about God in our home, we just started this devotional as a family, but seriously, he’s right.

And not really just “you never read the Bible to me.” It’s SO much more than that.

I didn’t even portray the Bible to them in my words, actions or efforts as a mom last year. Maybe even at all.

I can’t explain what it looks like to live on auto-pilot but it’s scary once you wake up.  You realize how much time passed while you were sleep-walking / surviving / sometimes painfully drowning and gasping for air.

My second son use to be the sweetest boy you’ve ever met.  He was thoughtful and tender, loved to cuddle and give compliments.  He was compassionate and kind.

I just realized in the last month as God has been waking me to action, he disappeared.  He is now a nasty, mean, naughty boy.  He yells constantly, he says mean things to his siblings, he mocks and ridicules, he calls names and he has picked up an ugly sarcasm habit.

All he’s really done is mimic me.  If I listen closely, he’s saying things I say. And really had no idea I was saying them and how awful they sounded, how much they must have hurt my kids, and how I’ve failed to love them and make sure they know they’re always safe with me.

Things like “Don’t be a crybaby.  Just shut up.  Oh right, like that was an intelligent thing to do.  Get it together. Why did you do this? What is wrong with you? Following questions with HUH, HUH as a way of demeaning and showing disapproval.”

I’m so upset. So humiliated.  So broken.  And really just in a state of thankfulness that God has awoken me from this death and given me more time to get this parenting thing right.

Kids have bad days.  Sometimes they will be in a bad mood, not feel well, struggle with their emotions, need an outlet to be upset, JUST LIKE ADULTS!  They ARE little versions of us, and I have NO RIGHT as a parent to demean them for being human.  Especially because they have very little to no experience in knowing how to process emotions, work through negative feelings and thoughts, and express what they are really feeling deep down.

Shame on me for expecting them to be adults in so many ways.  Especially when I don’t even do these things well myself on many occasions.

How dare I shame them for having emotions and needing an outlet to express them. No matter what way it is, or if it’s (obviously) an immature way to do that.  THEY ARE IMMATURE! I can guide without shame, ridicule, judgment or hurt.

I think it’s a HUGE indication how God feels about our parenting when he says in Ephesians 6:5 (after telling children to obey their parents) Fathers, do not exasperate your children, instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”

Exasperate means  to irritate or provoke to a high degree; annoy extremely; infuriate; anger; or enrage.

I would say calling names would be provoking and demeaning their outlets for expressing emotions (shaming for crying) would infuriate and belittle their spirits.

Why under any circumstances would I ever, EVER, call my kids a name?  Would God ever do that to me?

When I’m upset, sometimes I just react and don’t even hear myself or realize the implications and damage I’m doing.  I’m very, VERY selfish and care only about my own feelings when I’m upset, even at the expense of really wounding my children.

When disciplining a child, they shouldn’t be infuriated, hurt, provoked or angry.  They should be upset and ashamed, sorry and repentant.  Otherwise maybe we’re crushing them instead of teaching them.

children

I can keep preaching at my kids to use kind words, have patience, build each other up and on and on but until I master the ability to MODEL IT, it will always be wasted, empty words.

I want my kids to know I LOVE them.  I think the world of them.  I want to draw out all their BEST qualities and help them work through the areas where they struggle.

I want to be AVAILABLE to them (which will be my next post!) and I want them to learn to LOVE God and LOVE others well.

I have failed in the past, especially last year.  But I’m all done being a failure.  I’m going to be the Mom God has called me to be and teach my kids how to navigate this world (that is falling apart at the seams.)  One thing matters in this world, ONE THING, Do they know Jesus?

I can’t expect them to know Him if I can’t help them see Him.

Practical Application:

In what ways do you lead your children to best process their immature emotions?

How do you develop and work through the fruits of the spirit in your home?

Do you find family time, or one on one time is most effective?

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6 Responses to “Little Mimic”

  1. E' January 8, 2016 at 2:57 pm #

    Oh my!!!
    I’m just thankful for new opportunities to set things right.
    I pray God helps u. Helps us.
    Amen

    Sending hugs

    • Kayla Gulick January 8, 2016 at 5:08 pm #

      I can’t imagine how we’d ever find hope in this life without the promise that His mercies are new every morning. Thank God for His mercy and grace!!

  2. Jenn January 8, 2016 at 10:17 pm #

    Oh yes. You’ve just out into words what is going on at my house too. My oldest is me. Impatient. Abrupt. Short tempered with family. Oh my, it’s all me. In his devotion the other day, it said to write down advice that your parents have given you. His first few thoughts were not very becoming of Dan and I. Things like: use your brain. Keep your mouth closed. Stop aggravating all the time. Oh my. That’s what he feels I have offered him? That’s it?! I have failed and I need to come clean soon or I will lose him to my own sinful self. Thank you for this post and your honesty. I’ve prayed recently for a humble heart and quiet presence when discipline is needed and stressful times arise.

    • Kayla Gulick January 9, 2016 at 8:31 am #

      I dislike that you can relate but at the same time, I feel so encouraged that God has revealed to us what is going on so we can make changes. I’m so thankful He’s full of unlimited opportunities to change and improve! Good Luck! I know new habits don’t always come easy and quick. But we can do this!!

  3. howsyourlovelife January 12, 2016 at 10:02 am #

    Let me assure you from experience that all of this can be redeemed. Seriously, my children have no memory of the impatient, yelling scary mom that inhabited my body for several years. It’s gone – from my heart, from our home and from their memories! Now, do better. Everyday. I read a great quote recently: Be the person you needed when you were younger. Powerful when you think about it.

    • Kayla Gulick January 12, 2016 at 10:17 am #

      Yes, that is VERY powerful. Thank you for that challenge!

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