I Have One Of Those

Do you have a "one of those"?  

I remember a statement one of my dear friends made years ago.  "We used to think that if a parent had a strong-willed child it was something the parents were doing wrong.  Either they have changed their parenting skills or have become soft.  That was until we had our 6th child.  He was stubborn before he was even born."  As a young mother I couldn't imagine what they were talking about.  I had pretty good parenting skills, I thought.  My kids never threw a fit, screamed at us, or got into trouble in the nursery.  They sat still in church as much as toddlers can and were just "normal" babies.  This is the story on my first four children. 

Then we had number five!  

She had some trouble in the very beginning that was not her fault, but I'm sure contributed somewhat to her "different" nature.  As she got older we began to notice some hints of this nature that was dwelling within her.  There were normal toddler issues and then there were deeper issues.  I remember thinking, "Oh my word!  What have we got here?"  I tried to deal with her as I had done my other four children, but she didn't learn the first time, or the second, or the third, or fourth or...yeah, I'm not kidding.  Consistency is the only thing I knew for sure that would be the answer.  She had such a fascination with the toilet that it took weeks to break her from playing in it. 

When I first  knew for sure and admitted that we had a "problem" (I use that term loosely), was when she was 18 months old.  She was angry in her sleep!  It was horrible!  She refused to allow us to touch her and would fling herself all over the bed in anger.  This was a hard road for both of us to travel, but I remained consistent, even in the middle of the night.

On one particularly desperate day, I called my friend that made the statement about their 6th child.  I had to have some help and affirmation.  Carol was so sweet and related to what we were going through.  Her advise was timely and I immediately put it into practice. 

She suggested teaching her Ephesians 6:1.

Our "one of those" was so cute when I tried to teach it.  She got "parents" confused with "puppets" so we rephrased it to "Children obey your mommy and daddy in the Lord for this is right!"  We quoted this numerous times throughout the day.  In order to teach her what "obey" actually meant, we would praise and cheer every time she obeyed and told her, "You are such a good girl; you obeyed Mommy!"  Then when she did not obey we would say, "You disobeyed Mommy or Daddy when you did..."  I felt like it was pointless to teach her to obey without teaching her what obedience was.  She caught on pretty fast and it is such a joy to hear her quote Ephesians 6:1 and to see her get so excited when she knows she has obeyed.  We make a big deal and the whole family gets involved in praising her.

There has been such an improvement since our "one of those" has God's Word in her heart.  

We are teaching her Ephesians 4:32 now and reaffirming what it means to be kind or unkind.  If you have a "one of those" in your home, I'd like to encourage you to try teaching them Ephesians 6:1 first.  This is the basis of parenting.

Secondly, I encourage you to be quicker to praise the good behavior than to discipline the bad.  Though both aspects of parenting are needed, try focusing on the good more often. Sometimes this is hard to do, and it takes training the parent as well.

Our "one of those" still has more struggles with her sinful nature than her siblings did, but the improvements give us hope that things will continue to get better.  Before you think that I am in the comparison game of my children, I only write of this to you.  We do not make it a habit to compare our children among themselves.  They are each uniquely designed by our Heavenly Father and present challenges at different times.

I hope you were encouraged to try Scripture memory and praise with your children as a way of keeping their heart! It works!  We have tested, tried, and proven it!



Kristy @ Little Natural Cottage said...

You know I have "one of those" too. Mine came first, before my "other" babies. :)

I have a caboos that might be "one of those" too. Maybe it's in the genes (ahem).

Thank you for this reminder, my friend. I'm still referring back to "the talk" we had in the nursery at Convocation from time to time. Thanks for your encouragement!

Niki said...

Your welcome! Our "one of those" could never possibly take after us, could they?! :) I was a perfect child! Ha!