3 little Miracles

3 little Miracles

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Encourage NOT Discourage

I have a sound bite playing through my head and I can't seem to stop it, it is Alex from The NOT SO REAL Housewives of NY.  Alex co-authored the book, Little Kids, Big City: Tales from a Real House in New York City, with her husband Simon and said in a RH of NY interview, "Don't listen to the well meaning Morons".  I am not promoting her book or the housewives show, but the point Alex was making in a very snarky way, was that sometimes people with good intentions give you unsolicited parenting advice, and sometimes mean spirited individuals also give you parenting advice, either way don't listen to it. I try my best not to call people names, even behind their backs, but for a brief moment I thought it about someone recently, even though I have GREAT respect for them, and this particular quote kept filling my head. 

As you know from reading my blog, I have 3 little Miracles.  2 little Boys, 5 and 3, and 1 little girl born this past October.  Jon (my 3 1/2 year old) is my biggest challenge and STRONG willed child.  Jon willfully decides to not learn his colors, potty train, or pretty much follow most directions we give him.  In addition, my little strong willed boy has a pretty sharp temper when he doesn't get his way.  BUT, with all of that, Jon is also a brave young man who is always willing to try almost anything, he has a beautiful smile and bright hazel eyes, he loves to give hugs (on his terms) or curl up in my lap to watch a movie, loves to sit still for one on one reading time, and plays well with other children (just not his brother, HA).

I recently had the experience of a loved one with good intentions sharing "advice" through the form of a newspaper article they thought I should read.  The article was in the News & Observer this past Sunday and was titled, "Unruly kids May Not Change".  The article was about a study out of Duke University and New Zealand regarding toddlers who seem to have an inability to exert self control, and the likely hood that these children would have issues with substance abuse, financial issues, and/or criminal behavior later in life.

My problem with this individual sharing this article is, number one, is that this article is so negative and does not provide specific guidance.  Second, there is no way of knowing from the article, the percentage of kids used in the study that came from a Christian home, if any at all.  Third, and I think most important, the individual who gave this to me did not think about how such a negative article would make me feel, knowing that my husband and I are struggling with ways to guide Jon's willful behavior without breaking his spirit.

I know we are going through a challenging stage of life with Jon right now, but I also know that if we continue to give him to God in prayer, and we try to guide him and model the behavior God would have us to, that one day hopefully . . . . . he WILL get it.  Are we always the perfect model of controlled behavior? NOPE, but we do try to calmly direct Jon's lack of self-control when he is frustrated and get him to use his words. 

I think it is our job as Christians and parents to be an encouragement to one another, I can't even tell you how many verses there are in the bible that tell us to do just that.

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29
“…Encourage each other…” I Thessalonians 5:11
“…Build each other up…” I Thessalonians 5:11
Encourage one another daily…” Hebrews 3:13
“…Spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” Hebrews 10:24
“…Encourage one another.” Hebrews 10:25
"Encourage each other…”I Thessalonians 4:18

One of the greatest things I love about blogging and reading other blogs, is that I find so many posts from other mom's that let me know I am not alone in the battle and in a moment when I feel hope is lost, I find hope instead.  In fact back on the 25th I was so encouraged by a post on a blog I follow, that I shared the link on my page in hopes of passing the encouragement along (Finding Contentment in the Baby Season).  As mom's we need to lift each other up, not tear each other down.  I have several Christian friends, who during my deepest moments of frustration, have come to me and said, "do you know my son _________ was the same way" or "my daughter ______ did the same thing and this is what we did".  I look at them like they have grown a second head, because I know their young adult son and he is well mannered, focused, mature, and most important has a deep love of God OR I know and see their daughter at church and never see that kind of behavior.  But I know they aren't lying to me, and that they are trying to let me know there is hope and so many years ahead for Jon to improve.

So, if you know another mom who you know is struggling with a certain stage of child rearing, stop and think of the moment you were in her shoes and find a way to encourage her and praise her child so she sees the rainbow in the season she is in.


  1. Amen and amen. I too have a very strong willed son. He is exasperating sometimes in his opinions and ways and he is only 3. BUT I know God gave me this son after 12 long years trying for him because HE knew I was the best mother for Blaze. He knew I was a lot like him when I was small. HE knew I could handle the intelligence under all the scrappiness. Sometimes I may wonder lol, but God knows. Blaze has a huge heart and is one of the first to ask if someone is ok. He loves to play openly and joyfully. He loves music and dancing. I can take the foot stomping, whining, defiance and attitude because I know it is my job and privilege to raise my son for God. It isn't always easy or even enjoyable but like every season, this too shall pass. As long as we are raising them in Christ, that is the most and best we can do. Things will get better and they will grow to love God and family and be productive members of society because we are doing our best. I am praying for you and your family. Hold your head up and know that GOD made Jon the way he is and HE knows you two can parent him the best.

  2. Thank you Shana, you are always so kind in your comments. WOW wouldn't we have a fun day if we got our two kiddo's together ;-) I pray you have a blessed weekend.

  3. You are very welcome! I can imagine we may need a padded room if we got them together haha. That would be one to video, if only so we could catch up to their energy. I pray you have a wonderful weekend as well!