Over the years, in myself and others, I’ve observed a tendency toward laziness as moms. I’m not talking about laziness in how we clean, decorate, dress our children, or save money for our family. No, in those ways we can be quite purposeful and diligent.
What I mean is this: many of us tend to lazily overlook the things our children are doing, even when those things agitate or frustrate us. God has given us an internal alert system that points us to the very areas on which we should focus in our children, but we ignore it, and thus, opt for laziness in our mothering.
Elizabeth, a wise mom of ten, author of Raising Godly Tomatoes, and friend of mine, said it this way:
“I have what I call “Mommy Radar”. It goes off whenever I sense something needing correction. I’m not sure how I acquired Mommy Radar, but I suspect I’ve had it all along and just didn’t know. What I thought was irritability was perhaps at times really the beginnings of Mommy Radar or Mommy Radar being ignored.
You see, it used to annoy me when my children whined, complained, or argued with me. It frustrated me when I had to request something multiple times before they’d do it, and it upset me even more when they would do it, but do it grudgingly. Slow obedience bothered me too, and sneakiness, and laziness, and so on.
Because I was new in my parenting career, I thought that all these things that annoyed me were “normal” for children to do. I thought I needed to learn to somehow tolerate all of these until they “grew out of it”.
Since then I’ve wised up. Now I know they won’t grow out of it if I don’t put some effort into training it out of them. If I want better behavior I’d better do something to make it happen.”
It is so critical to develop, and then listen to, that “mommy radar” Elizabeth talks about.
Dads often understand this implicitly. I’ve heard countless stories of young dads telling their wives something they need to cut out, add in, stop doing, or start doing, with their child, and all too often the young mom scoffs and allows the child to keep doing the thing that annoys her husband.
Young mom, can I tell you something straight? Listen to your husband!
- If he is annoyed by it, others are too!
- If you are internally annoyed by something, others are too.
You’re the one God has put in their lives, day in, day out, to help correct these things. No one else has the God-given authority, or the ability to exercise it, the way you do– with consistency and love!
When you get that check in your spirit to deal with something in your child’s attitude, behavior, response, or words, don’t:
- ignore it and keep browsing Facebook on your phone.
- wait for it to escalate
- try to distract or mollify your child
- keep sitting in front of your computer.
- just let it go “one more time”
As parents, we are in the business of raising up, sharpening, and shaping these little “arrows” so that they can be shot to the far reaches of the earth for God’s use. No one else is going to do this job for you.
It all begins with listening to those little annoyances that God means to spur us on toward training them to be enjoyable, pleasant people.
MOM’S UNIQUE VANTAGE POINT
To you, mom of a little one who is agitating you with her rudeness, or bothering you with his disobedience, be encouraged!
When something in/about your child rubs you the wrong way, God gave you that vantage point so that you can *do something* about it. He has put you in a unique position where you not only SEE but you HAVE the *authority,* given by God, to deal with those issues in your child.
Be faithful today!
Be diligent over time!
Listen to that “mommy radar” and put in the consistent, daily work necessary to help your child be shaped and sharpened for God’s use.