It had been a very rough day with my son.
My two and a half year old sweet boy has become defiant lately. It’s emotionally draining and by 4pm that day I had simply reached my limit.
As tears streaked my face, I knew I needed guidance on how to deal with his behavior — something more than hearing for the hundredth time, “Oh, this stage will pass.” I needed a way to survive this stage while it lasted so I came out with my sanity intact!
My parents recommended that I read Dare To Discipline by Dr. James Dobson. They had read it when I was a toddler. I did a quick search on Amazon to find it and decided on the Dr. James Dobson Parenting Collection. It has proven to be a godsend to me in this season of parenting.
I began reading, The New Strong Willed Child, and by the time I was into the second chapter I was so thankful I had listened to the wisdom of my parents in reading these books.
“Their [parents] attitude should be, ‘The Lord gave me this challenging child for a purpose. He wants me to mold and shape this youngster and prepare him or her for a life of service to Him. And I’m up to the task. I’m going to make it with the Lord’s help.” – Dr. James Dobson
That passage was a needed attitude check, for sure. I quickly highlighted it and as I read on I felt like Dr. Dobson was inside my head. I had been feeling like a failure lately, but I felt encouraged as I read, “Don’t be too quick as a parent to brand yourself as a failure. Kids do grow up, and you will find out later that the values and principles that you tried so hard to instill were actually going inside and sticking.”
After I read that I recalled how the apostle Paul spoke of Timothy’s legacy of faith in II Timothy 1:5, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.”
The greatest calling I will have in life is instilling faith and values into my children. The greatest challenge is balancing love and discipline. On my own I would certainly fail, which is why I know the greatest necessity as a parent is prayerful guidance and help from the Lord.
I ended that stressful day by closing Dr. Dobson’s book and saying a prayer of thankfulness. What a blessing it is to be trusted with the care and responsibility of raising a child! Even on the bad days, I’m still thankful to be a parent and I still love my son beyond what I can express.