“© Chris Boswell / Dollar Photo Club”
How are you doing with the “Scream Free Challenge”? I wanted to give you an update on my own personal progress with this challenge. You can find that post here.
Where do I begin? Parenting does not come with a handbook, that would be too easy. A handbook on raising teenagers would be even better! I recently had a daughter that turned 13 and magically became a teenager over night, well that’s what she thinks, and my world has turned up-side down. This struggle teenagers have wanting to be and independent adult, but yet still remain a child is hard. It has tested my relationship with my teenager more than I could ever imagine. There are days where I am just sad that we can’t connect with her, yet I know this is all apart of growing up. So as a result of not being able to connect I started grasping for anything to get her attention. I YELLED!
That was one sure way I would grab her attention. I completely abandoned my challenge, gave into to “self”, and yelled at her in front of my other kids. After I yelled I felt terrible. Not only did I just go against everything my heart wanted, but I also was a terrible example of how to communicate to my children. The more I yelled the easier it became. Until my children reminded me of my “Scream Free Challenge”. (they listen my friends) I felt terribly convicted. I just prayed to God one morning in the car. “God I am mad, I don’t know how I can just lose it like that. Why is it so hard to parent for me right now? I don’t understand what I am to do differently. I am sad about my relationships with the people I love the most.” I just put it out there to God. Then it struck me. I am sad.
I am sad that I can’t connect to my daughter. I am sad that I am a horrible example to my children. I am sad that my husband and I argue over disciplining our children. I am sad that I second guess myself ALL THE TIME. I am sad that I feel like God doesn’t hear me or answer me when I want. The list could go on, but what I discovered was that my yelling was a direct result of being sad. So when I prayed God revealed to me that I am not really angry at my daughter, my husband, or my other children, I was actually sad that my relationships were not where they needed to be with God, and my family. I am so thankful HIS mercies and grace are new for me when I ask.
As I continue to read through “Desperate” by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson, I am reassured that there is no one perfect way to parent, or have a relationship with my children. God will show me what I need. In chapter 11,page 133 I highlighted a sentence in my book: “There are forty different ways to parent, but we need to ask, “Lord, how do you want me to raise my kids?” This has been my prayer since that morning in the car a week ago. I am continuing on with the “Scream Free Challenge”, instead of yelling I am going to replace the sadness of not connecting with my children, and spouse, with self-control. I will instead try to connect with their heart and see what their needs are, and try to understand why they are acting out the way they are.
Connecting can be simple and easy, here are a few ways that I have, and want to connect with my family:
- My husband and I were laying on or bed last night talking when my teenager came to the door and asked a question. God told me to tell her to snuggle up on the bed with us and just talk for a few minutes, and give her some extra hugs. At first she was resistant, but after a few minutes she started talking and had a huge smile on her face. We just talked for about 10 minutes. Later that night she commented before going to bed saying “that was really fun talking to you guys”. My heart smiled. Take a few minutes when you can and just give them your undivided attention. It will show them that they are worth more than anything else, and reaffirm your relationship with them.
- Set aside special dates with your spouse, and your children. This is one we struggle with as a family because of time restraints, and babysitter needs. If you can though, this will be one of the best times and memory making connections that you will have. Uninterrupted conversation is when your hearts can connect, and open up to each other, real issues can be discussed with no judgement. My children look forward to these “dates”, especially if it is something big and they watch the calendar for it to come. They anticipate spending that time with you, and there is nothing more fun for then to watch them get excited as that day approaches.
- Go on a hike as a family. God’s creation and sound is so wonderful. When we hike together my kids tell us stories, ask questions, and play with each other. We are removed from technology and forced to speak to each other without distractions. It is FUN! This is also a great date for just you and your spouse as well.
- JUST HAVE FUN! We as a family need to learn how to just have more fun. We do not nearly have as much fun as we should. This is a mission of mine for our family now. I want to laugh and enjoy the time God has given us together in the way he wants us to. LAUGH TOGETHER.
Find ways you can connect to your family. If you are feeling like you are yelling a lot, take a look at why you are yelling. Are you sad about something? If so acknowledge what that is before God, ask him to guide you in parenting your children the way HE wants You to parent, and see what happens. God is always there for us and listens to our prayers.
1 I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
2 Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live.
You can do it! Live scream free!
The book “Desperate” is what I am currently reading, and it is life changing. You can purchase that book below. This is an affiliate link, I will make a small commission from your purchase that will in return help with the costs of running this blog. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.