I hadn’t even been home from work for 5 minutes and I was ready to go back.
Yes it was Friday night and I should have been excited about the upcoming weekend, but the reality was that I walked into kids fighting and I could feel my blood pressure rise immediately.
What is it about fighting, screaming kids that can push you over the edge?!
The past two days had been especially bad. Elijah spent the early part of the week away at a fun camp with his grandparents and cousin Isabel. Apparently he cried every night for us but once he came home, the “missing mom feelings” wore off and his temper and sass were back in full force.
I tried some calm and positive correction.
“I don’t like your attitude mom”
Anything I or his brother Gabriel said to him he repeated in a taunting voice. He was testing the waters big time!
Then he told me that he couldn’t stop being naughty because they devil was making him do it and because the devil was making him misbehave it wasn’t really his fault. (Seriously?!)
I could feel myself getting more and more angry and it was work to keep my voice from yelling back at him.
And then I decided to ask him what he wanted to do. What was it that would help him to behave?
“Paint, I want to paint.”
He has asked to paint before and usually I find a reason not to bring out the paints. It always seems like such a hassle.
But for some reason this night I thought it was worth a try. No he hadn’t “deserved” the right to do something he really wanted to do. He had been nothing but naughty for almost 2 hours straight, but I was desperate for a change…so I said yes.
We got out the watercolors and a few sheets of paper, a cup of water and he was ready to go.
He painted for maybe 10 minutes. 10 blissful, sass-free minutes and it was wonderful.
Within a half hour he was right back to burping at his brother and chasing his sister. Short-lived peace, yes, but I learned a good lesson.
Sometimes we have to be willing to try something new. We need to say yes to things like painting if it means we will be able to regain some of our sanity, even if just for a few minutes.
What have you said yes to, in order to get some peace from your kids?! I’d love for you to share your stories in the comments below!!
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