Let me state my case. You’ll see that I have plenty of evidence.
You know, like when my teenage daughter takes my brush in the morning because she can’t find hers and then doesn’t return it?
It’s so obvious that she hatched a plot to purposely lose her brush. She then clearly calculated the time perfectly so she could take it from my bathroom just moments before I need it. To make matters worse, after she’s brushed her hair, she runs out the door for school — but not until she’s deliberately hidden the brush under her covers. I just know it!
And wait until you hear about my son. Recently, he stayed up late working on a big science project that was 10 percent of his grade. He put all his materials together and loaded them in the car that morning. But then on the way to school, he said he left his data notebook on his desk — at home.
He says it was an accident. Likely story.
Sure, he almost never does this — and yes — after a brief freakout — he asked me nicely to bring it back. Well played, Micah. But, he knew it was a busy day for me. The nerve! Honestly, is it too much to ask to consider mom’s needs? What a self-centered young man.
Do I sound crazy? As moms, I think we can do this without even realizing it. I can be quick to assign a malicious or rebellious intent to my child’s behavior, when actually, their behavior is not spiteful — and it’s not about me. Who’s self-centered now? Yikes.
Sure, sometimes our kids are being rotten. They are human, after all. But a lot of times, I think their behavior can have its roots in one or more of the following:
Absentmindness. Our kids can be impulsive. They hop from activity to activity, usually forgetting something along the way. We’re grownups, but we do the same thing, right? I don’t think I’m alone in this!
Lack of knowledge. I’ve been doing things like planning, thinking ahead, making adjustments for so long that it’s second nature. But it’s not to our kids. I sometimes forget that. They are often confronting challenges and situations for the first time. They don’t have the coping skills or tools to know how to navigate certain situations effectively. I know at times I have enabled my kids by doing things for them. Then I’m mad when they don’t know how to do something!
Immaturity. Learning wise decision-making takes time — and some trial and error. And some just plain “growing up.” According the The Partnership for a Drug-Free America, the part of the brain which controls reasoning and impulses develops last. This part of the brain does not fully mature until the age of 25!
Earlier I said my kids’ behavior is not about me. But maybe it is about me — just not the way I think. I know that when I’m overwhelmed, stressed out and overcommitted, my heart can easily become cold. My connection with God become more distant and I become easily irritated, annoyed and ready to pounce.
When our hearts become cold, it can cause our kids’ hearts to become cold, too. Loving instruction warms the relationship between us and our kids and makes them more open to our guidance in both the little and big issues of life. I pray often that God will keep my heart soft toward my children.
Now, off to find my hairbrush. At least I know where to look.
And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. Ezekiel 36:26 (NLT)