My husband and I are far from being the perfect parents. Our kids don’t always listen. We yell at them often, damn near daily, to clean up their rooms, to wash the dishes, to put away their clothes, to take out the trash, and to pick up their backpack or shoes that are always in the middle of the floor. Sometimes it’s like our yelling goes in one ear and out the other.
We are hard on our children. Sometimes I feel like we put too much pressure on them. Other times I feel like we aren’t putting enough pressure on them. Our four boys in particular. We are raising future heads of households, someone’s future husband, and someone’s future father. And while they will learn and mature a whole lot between graduating high school in a few years and getting married, right now, we don’t give them any room for error.
In academics, anything less than an A is failing. No exceptions. With their teachers offering tutorials every day, technology readily available and two college degreed parents at home to support them, why would they make anything less an A? For athletics, our philosophy is simple, if you’re not training everyday-to become faster, stronger and mentally tougher- you’ll be average. And average is not an option especially since they want to be Division I scholar athletes.
These last few weeks have been stressful!! Lately I’m like, “Aren’t you tired of me yelling at you all about the same stuff over and over?” Of course their reply is “yes!” but here I am, yelling again, wondering ‘when are y’all gonna get it?!’ Then my husband and I beat ourselves up thinking we’ve obviously failed them because surely it’s not normal to be yelling at them about the same stuff every day!
So last week I was in deep prayer about it. Literally praying, “God please show me that our kids are listening. That what we’ve instilled in them is really in them! That despite them being irresponsible at home, they are really walking in your favor and shining your light among men.”
There is no one and nothing that can convince me that God isn’t for me and my family or that He’s not listening when I pray to Him. Ask and it shall be given.
This morning I got a phone call from the assistant principal telling about much the Special Ed teachers appreciates my twins. She explained how they regularly help another student with learning disabilities whenever he’s transitioned to their class. She said my boys are extremely patient with him, always encouraging him to participate, and genuinely helps him. She said the twins really do consider him a friend and even high-five him in passing.
Then not even 15 minutes after getting off the phone with her, my other son’s teacher emailed me. Her email literally said, “I just wanted you to know AJ is a fabulous kid/student and I love having him in class. He has a heart of gold and is beyond respectful!”
And I’m certain that after I publish this, my other kids’ teachers will send me a praise report too!
Sometime I fail as a Mom. Sometimes my husband fails as a Dad. And we grow tired of repeating ourselves over and over, but we have to keep teaching our children the right way. And these teachers reaching out to me today is proof that my children are listening. (My yelling has not be in vain!) Everything we’ve been teaching is in them. And what’s in them will come out!
Maybe not at home in the way of putting away clothes when they’re supposed to or finally putting that backpack in the mud room where it belongs…but the real important stuff like humility, kindness, and respectfulness is shining through.
And I can live with that!
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go & when he is old, he will not depart from it.