Bam bam bam rat a tat tat Bam bam bam rat a tat tat...
All I could hear were the pounding beats of my oldest child, Cliff, practicing his drums. And I tried to appreciate it. Really. I did love that he wanted to play an instrument, particularly after he stopped taking piano lessons, but the banging noise coming up from the basement would get to me. There was no good time for him to practice. At least if anyone was home. I began to resent it, until his teacher made a comment that completely changed how I thought about his drumming.
His teacher told me, "I believe Cliff sees spiritually, and his desire to drum helps him open up to God while driving away evil." Clearly there are spiritual influences that we cannot see with our natural eyes. Her simple statement encouraged me to see with my spiritual eyes, to listen to him and consider Cliff's drumming in a new light, to appreciate his spiritual gifts, and his drive to play. This new perspective completely changed the way I responded to his drum practicing. Instead of dreading it, or getting angry at the constant pounding, I became excited and thought of God's Spirit filling our house as evil was being drummed out. I was blown away at how that one tweak in my perspective changed everything.
Youth expert, Josh Shipp, talks about our children's annoying habits and how it behooves us to consider that those very habits or traits are potentially their gifts. I had to change how I saw Cliff while he was drumming his heart out. We need to have a paradigm shift, to see our children in a different light. We need to learn to appreciate the very things that they do all the time. Even the annoying things and consider that those things are their bent, built into their personality. Our job, as parents, is to help them use that bent in a beneficial way. We do that by recognizing their traits as gifts, and talents from God, hardwired into them for a specific purpose.
Their purpose. God's purpose.
If you do this, I promise you, how you view your children will improve dramatically. You will see in them vast reservoirs of potential instead of their annoying or irritating habits.
Cliff's younger brother, Tim, also required me to have a paradigm shift. He has always been extremely active, so much so I had to let him stop working on school assignments every 10-15 minutes to take a break. He bounced and jumped and ran around constantly. We figured out ways to keep his need for activity under control so he could focus. It wasn't easy, but he made it to adulthood. Now he works for an outdoor ministry in Laramie, WY, and takes groups of people into the wilderness to be challenged physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. and ultimately, to discover God. He was made to do this.
In fact, each of my kids has required me to see them as they could be. It is the best way to be an encouraging parent.
So let's figure this out...
And based on this:
The key is to see your child through the eyes of their potential.
The biggest hurdle we as parents have to overcome is actually being annoyed or interrupted by our loud, irritating child. Not responding in our usual manner of ignoring them, or telling them to be quiet is critical here. We need to take time to stop what we are doing, look at them, hear them and respond appropriately to them. Work on responding from the paradigm shift, and your new perspective. This is being the adult... and guess what? Our children need us to be adults. Mature and forgiving. Offering insight and our support. But we cannot act on what we do not know. So let’s remember to take the time to listen to our kids and then act accordingly. Our children will thank us. Here's an article I wrote about "How to Talk to your Child so they Listen...and Hear you:
What habits do your children have that annoy you? Can you see which ones have merit and could be trained with proper teaching into a talent or trait they can use as they mature? I would love to hear your thoughts on this! Let's learn from each other...
Please leave comments or questions in the Comments section below.
Article by Ruth Grunstra
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Hi I'm Ruth
What is the biggest challenge you are facing with your child? My husband and I had the first of our 8 children in 1984 and our youngest in 2002. We've been married since 1980 and we are always learning new ways to engage our children. We would love to hear from you. Contact us and let us know what you have found that works and what doesn't, or ask me a question.
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