I had the mom thing down, the schedules, routine, meals, cleaning and even a little time for myself now and then. With each child I became a little more organized. I also grew more immune to whining and complaining.
If you spoke to my kids today, they would all tell you we raised a bunch of chiefs. They are all strong independent thinkers who I am very proud of. When they were small, experts talked a lot about strong willed children. I think each of my kids had this quality but some more than others. Jer and I felt ‘the strong-willed child’ sounded rather negative. We preferred to call them tenacious. We just needed to point them in the right direction. Part of this meant being steady and consistent. I’m not saying I did this perfectly because I didn’t but I tried my best. One day I stood filling the dishwasher while Tina was melting into a puddle on the floor. A major whine fest. I calmly continued to do my chore while holding my ground about whatever it was she wanted me to say yes to. Jer happened to walk in about that time. He didn’t spend all day with them like me and asked how I could stand it. I reassured him it didn’t happen often but the key was to hold my ground. Hue’s tenaciousness was at times the most stretching. Once he set his mind on something he often refuse to bend. This can be a bad thing but it can also be a very good thing. Imagine him now as an adult doing the things he feels called to do? It’s all in the trajectory. He would tell you he doesn’t always get it right either. We all need God to readjust our direction from time to time. Annie was very vocal about what she wanted and could debate me to death. Jer and I worked to model respectful behavior but we believed a child should be able to ask why a rule existed. It didn’t mean we would agreed or that we would change a rule but they had a voice. Tina wasn’t nearly as verbal as Annie but when she did used her words, they bit fast and hard. I had to watch out for the daggers her eyes could throw too. Deadly. Other siblings used more passive aggressive methods to get their way, sometimes just going behind our backs but we would eventually find out. I thank God for this revealing of truth. This shaping and reshaping is an ongoing process throughout our life. You can help shape a child’s life in so many wonderful ways and we can allow the Potter to continued to shape us as well, keeping our tenaciousness on course.