Lately I have been struggling with the behavior and attitudes of some of our children. By the end of the day I have often had it and feel very frustrated not knowing what more to do. My husband comes home from work and I have to work to change my attitude and not bring him down. I was discussing this with him and ended up pulling out one of our books on child training No Greater Joy Volume 1 and I began to read through the section on bad attitudes. Here is an excerpt that sounded like something I could write.… “The children frustrate me so much. I tell them to do their schoolwork, and they just piddle around. I tell them to clean up their rooms, and they fuss over who is to clean up what. They are always irritating one another. It frustrates me so much, trying to cause them to maintain a good attitude. They are always complaining and whining about something…." That’s it! That sounds like me! Here is the kicker… the problem is MY attitude! Yes, in the back of my mind I knew that to be true but was I really that bad? As I began to reflect on how our day goes at times I know that my attitude toward the children is not the best. I know I get impatient and my response to a question may be very short. I know I struggle when trying to get everyone ready to get somewhere on time and can hear myself yelling. I know that when my oldest has a hard time counting money or trying to read I can loose my patience thinking we have gone over this so many times. How often am I taking the time to just sit down with the children and enjoy playing? Yes, I know the answer to my frustration lies in my own attitude. Of course I love my children and take great delight in them but I am only human and cannot rest in my own strength to handle each day. I have really been convicted that I need to get my attitude right first thing every morning by spending set aside time with God and committing the day to Him and asking for wisdom and guidance.
After my realization I began to take every thought captive and make each moment count. The first day I saw great results! While my oldest was doing his Math, something that he doesn’t enjoy and often complains about, I decided to sit with him and be available to help and not get frustrated with his questions. He flew through the work and when he asked a question I was calm and helpful. A short time later when I was preparing lunch George came to me and asked if he could help me out. I was blown away as that is a rare comment! He told me that he enjoys being a help to me. I knew right then that my taking the time for him was being reciprocated to me. What a lesson I learned that day and while I continue to struggle with keeping my attitude glorifying to God no matter the circumstance, I know that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).