{growth} 3 ways to be a teachable parent...especially when your child schools you

Isn't it easy to pick our kids apart?

We see a behavior that lights a fire
in us as parents and in we go
for the change.
This past week one of our boys
had a weak moment of talking down
to his brother.

I jumped in immediately and
made the corrections.
Lots. Of. Corrections.
He backed down a little bit but
was still in it to win it.
Being exhausted with discussing the
same issue over and over...
I didn't leave much room for his
Later that night our daughter was
not in her happy place before bedtime
and honestly I wasn't either.
I had spent the day making school creative
and fun. We had girl time.
We drank coffee and laughed.
Then her words stung me that afternoon.
As her brothers came home from their class
they began to unfold the events of the morning and
little miss decided to inform them of
how boring her morning was.
Really? What a brat!
Lesson 1 that day:
We can choose to not allow 
the behavior of our
kids in 10 minutes of the day 
to set the tone for the other 720.
I chose to be disappointed in her
ungrateful spirit.
I should have chosen to speak gently to her words
and give her an opportunity to respond...
without an expectation that would determine the
course of my day.
I let her win that afternoon and because she won
my heart was bitter in every other conversation.
I knew emotionally I was done for the day...
Oh my word please tell me you have been here?!
Like, DONE.
I couldn't get her tucked in fast enough that night.
The normal routine was not happening.
No cuddles, no books, no prayers.
Just fan on, nightlight on, lamp off
and "goodnight I love you" as the door was closing.
Right after I turned off the lamp
in walked that son
who knew Momma was not a peace.
He knew his words had gone too far.
He sensed that I needed help
on more levels than one.
Don't you love it when
kids come back
to restore?
I was done. He was not.
Lesson 2 that day:
We can choose to
 enter into a tough situation.
 One where we have been hurt.
Especially one where we 
did the hurting. 
 Just by walking into that room
he showed me that he cared,
and he was not willing to
 let the night end without
bringing the peace.
 My son was teaching me about grace.
He was the example I should have been to my daughter.
He came in her room and watched
as I went through the motions.
I avoided eye contact in his silence 
not because I was mad...but because I
was on the cliff of uncontrollable tears.
Then he spoke.
" Mom I am really sorry I argued with you. Please
forgive me."
"I forgive you bud. Its okay, Moms heart is just heavy."
"Well I want to say that I have been working
on getting along better with the sibs. I'm sorry if
I made a wrong choice." I thanked him and closed her door.

Meanwhile at the table, the family was setting up a game of CLUE.
I was invited to join in by the littlest brother
about 5 times...
As we cleared the table after dinner.
In his sisters room as I got her in bed.
Down the hallway as he followed me to my room.
Through the door of the bathroom that I had shut...
and one last time
as I climbed into bed in tears.
Through the door he said,
"Momma whats wrong?"
"Momma are you okay? You don't have to play."
I responded broken, "I'm fine baby. Moms just done for the day."
Lesson 3 that day:
We can choose to forgive
 and move on in a moments notice.
Our kids do this well. 
I missed out that night...
I needed space but could have moved on.
We are professionals at holding on
 to past hurts and unnecessary comments.
This guy should have been upset too.
He was a recipient of
the brotherly smack talk all afternoon,
yet he was pursuing his Mom
 with a fresh perspective and joy. In the hustle of parenting, we often find ourselves in the teacher role. Sometimes we need to step back to learn from the ones that share the rooms of our home and celebrate when they show more maturity than we do!