26 June 2010

Out of the mouth of babes

I am continually amazed at the things my boys can teach me. 

For those of you who don't know my Eli, he is a very expressive child. I shouldn't be surprised, but he LOVES to talk, and is very interested in what words mean, and how to say things well. 
Often he surprises me by asking what a word means hours after I have said it. I love it!

Sometimes though, like all three-year-olds I'm sure, he gets frustrated when he doesn't get his own way, or can't express what he feels. I've been exploring ways to handle his frustrations. 

A few weeks ago I did something I've never done before.  I took my screaming boy and put him in our room and shut the door to his yelling and crying.  Luckily Jared was right behind me to go in and comfort him.  Not one of my proudest mommy moments, I have to admit.  

A few days later a similar situation arose, and I carried him downstairs to our room.  This time Jared wasn't around, and I had a little more self control, so sat down on the edge of the bed while he screamed: and this is when my baby taught me a lesson.  I asked him to relax, and in his fit he cried, "WILL YOU HELP ME?!!?"  

It was one of those moments when clarity hits you like a brick.  My poor Eli doesn't want to feel that way.  He doesn't like feeling that way.  But, in his limited experience here on earth, he hasn't yet figured out how to control those emotions and feelings.  All he wanted was his mommy's help!  And all it took was a few short minutes of hugging him and singing to him for a smile to cross his face yet again and for my little angel to return.  After all, that's why God made parents, right?

I hate to think how that would have turned out if I had shut the door again and let him deal with it on his own. 
A few days later he sunk the lesson in a little deeper when he did something rotten that I can't even remember right now.  I scolded him and he cried, "But I want to live with Heavenly Father."  Unsure of what he meant, I prodded. He said, "I want to be obedient and live with Heavenly Father." Apparently the lessons about being good so we can return one day to live with God had sunk in, and an opportunity to teach an even greater lesson arose: one about unconditional love. 

Again it made me think what I might have missed if I had just thrown him in a "time out" all on his own.

As I learn to help Eli manage his own beviour, and I grateful for the little moments where he teaches me far more that I am teaching him.  He has such a sweet spirit, and I can't help but think that God has placed him with me so I can get a glimpse of that unconditional love that he has for each of us.

When I need a little inspiration in my mothering, I look to men of God. This one struck me today:

"I fear you sisters do not realize in the smallest part the extent of your influence for good in your families, in the Church, and in society. Your influence for good is incalculable and indescribable. President Brigham Young said: “The sisters in our Female Relief Societies have done great good. Can you tell the amount of good that the mothers and daughters in Israel are capable of doing? No, it is impossible. And the good they will do will follow them to all eternity.”1 I truly believe you are instruments in the hands of God in your many roles, especially that of motherhood."2

1 comment:

  1. Love it.
    When Ben bit Jacob last week...hard... I put him alone in his room wailing for the first time too. I was too mad to have a good mommy moment...( I have put him to bed early though..)

    normally we have the newly instituted "thinking spot" that he goes to when he needs to think of a better choice to make...one of us goes to help him think...or sometime he will tell us to leave him there (but its in the living room so we are not far since inevidably he yells NOOOO come back! moments later...) my mom suggested a box of shells and stones there to help him calm down if he needs too..I liked that idea but am afraid of getting a rock in the head...you know how 3 year old tantrums are...) I remember feeling so angery and out of control as a child stuck alone in my bedroom, or bathroom (new time out when I broke my room...) of course I was just lucky to not get spanked at that time when time outs were new! I didn't want to isolate my kids because I can't help but agree that is when they need us MOST and is also the hardest time to parent. Discipline and parenting is getting to be a challenge of untapped territory now that we are headed into the three's and I am raising my mini me...
    I am glad to see I am not alone in the challenge! fortunatly mommys and heavenly father are so forgiving!


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