After several volatile mornings followed by several volatile afternoons I had to regroup my wits and come up with a way to deal with Ruthie that didn’t involve me yelling at her.
I’m really good at yelling – it’s a knee-jerk reaction to being yelled at, and I get yelled at a lot.
I hate that I fight with my kid like she’s a playground cheer leading rival, but when I do it’s a sign I have an undisciplined tongue.
On the really good what-would-Jesus-do kind of days I remember that I’m the grown-up, and that the right combination of words won’t necessarily make Ruthie listen to me. Those are the days I remember that God already established a plan to provide peace in our home:
Honor your father and mother so that you may live in peace. Exodus 20:12
(I paraphrased this verse a little from the NIV, but I think Jesus is okay with that because it’s all in the name of contextualizing this stuff for my kids.)
No amount of yelling or manipulating is going to sway my stubborn child from the line she is toeing. But as for my part, I need to remember – and be confident of – my place in the hierarchy of things.
I am Ruthie’s mom, and it’s my job to lead her. When she follows my lead there is peace in our home, and when she doesn’t there is much yelling.
It’s really pretty simple, and when at least one of us gets that (*cough*), there is peace to be had.