However, I would say that I've had many posts where I've tried to paint myself in a "our family is happy and thrives well" only light. Sometimes I like to get a little sticky and give you some of the dirt. So now, on to the dirt.
Our sweet four year old has been in a funk. A LONG funk. For over a year he's been talking with that maddening baby voice so many little ones find fascinating....the same voice that drives most adults up the wall. The voice alone wasn't so worry-some, but the fact that no matter what we tried with him for change he persisted with the voice. Then some other baby-ish behaviors followed, only adding to the puzzle. I personally, was stumped. I prayed for wisdom and change. I did the research, asked other moms...usually I came up with the same answer; it's an attention thing.
I have not been so patient with this process. I've been feeling like *urrrgh* the baby talk would never, ever stop. As a result, I'm sad to say that I've gotten less patient with Eli while waiting for the behaviour to change. Not so gracious.
I kind of ruled that out the 'not enough attention theory' after months of my husband and I intentionally seeking him out, taking him on dates, talking more with him (it's easy to let him interact so much with his brothers that we just had very little interaction with him), playing with him...none of it worked.
Last week, my husband had an idea, something we tried early on in the craze...just ignoring him until he used his normal big-kid voice.
So that there wouldn't be misunderstanding we had a family pow-wow, Ralph told all the boys that we were going to do something. When Eli used baby voice we wouldn't answer or respond to him until he used his big kid voice.
You know what? It worked.
The funny thing is, I don't think it really had that much to do with the method...more the timing. I sincerely believe that Eli just needed time to get through that space. Not only has the baby voice dis-continued, but suddenly he's far more affectionate & interacting on an entirely different level. He just needed to be a little, um, baby voice for awhile.
And it all makes me think about Grace.
- (not countable) Elegant movement; poise or balance.
- (not countable, theology) Free and undeserved favour, especially of God. Unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification.
I'm so much like that in life. I go through phases & funks. I exhibit behaviours that drive people crazy and do things that are contrary to my growth as a healthy person, friend or Christ-follower. I know that these seasons might not be the best for me but sometimes I persist in my wrong thinking or behaviours. I have really screwed up in life. But usually the people around me love me anyway and God always does. It's Grace. It's the earmark of Christianity, the single thing that seperates it from other religions (that's another blog post). I'm so, so grateful for the grace of those around me.
And I want to be a gracious parent. Lord knows my kids will continue to go through phases, long and uncomfortable to those of us around them. But these are little people, my children. And if God can be gracious to me (& this is what draws me to Him) then I certainly want to be gracious to my kids when they go through phases, however uncomfortable. I won't stop seeking wisdom both from God and the moms that have gone before me. God tells us to 'get wisdom & understanding.' I will seek Him in teaching my kiddos how to live and behave, while they are home with us. And I'll be gracious to them when they're living in obnoxious or sinful seasons. I want them, after all, to see love as the greatest good in our home.
And lest you think that's the worst of our dirt, of course of it's not. Just all I'm up to airing today.