Okay, so let me start by saying that parenting is not easy. Everyday you wake up with pretty much the same schedule, except in between it you get unexpected moments. Some good, some bad . I am not a parent, so I don’t know all of the ins and outs that mothers and well as fathers have to deal with on a daily basis. The closest I’ve gotten was babysitting and being a children’s church teacher. I’ve been doing that since I was 12, sometimes earning money and other times, just because I love children. I love seeing the look on their faces when they get a cool gift that seems small to you, but to them it seems like $100k. I love the fact that they tell the same stories over and over every 10 minutes because they think you’ve forgotten already. I feel like I’ve understood most of the ones I’ve met and the little quirks that might come with them, and I’ve been exposed to all ages. That’s what you do when you have kids, you learn more about them, right? Well, let me tell you sad, sad story of my trip to Walmart this week.
It lasted about 10 seconds. I was in the shoe aisle looking for a pair of new summer shoes since the ones I was wearing were getting a little worn out. It was a beautiful day, and I enjoyed going for a nice walk and seeing all the people out after the storms we’ve been having. As I was getting to the end and found some I really liked, when all of the sudden I hear, “SHUT UP!!!” Oh. My. Gosh. I look up from the shoes and search around me to see where that heinous sound could’ve possibly come from. The aisle was completely empty, except for another woman who worked there. Though she didn’t have any reaction to it, I know her thoughts must’ve lined up with mine. But I shake my head and get over it. After all, it’s done, right? Wrong. The woman went on to scream more violently at her child, only now she was using profanities. Now I couldn’t even focus on the shopping I was doing, I just wanted to get as far away from the aggressiveness as possible. Just then, the woman doing the screaming walks up, so I stop for a second to get a good look at her. As you can imagine, she didn’t look happy. She asked the Walmart associate a question, then she quickly walked away. You could tell that her life was probably not an easy one, and most likely consisted of early mornings and late nights. At that moment, I had compassion for her, wishing I could do something to help…that is, until the screaming started again. I winced a little bit and made my way to the registers. But on the way out of the aisle I heard something. Something that offended me more than all the mother’s antics. The child started shouting, “Shut up, shut up, shut up!”
Let me just explain why this is a big deal for me. I was never aloud to talk like that when I was a kid. Those were the kinds of phrases that got your mouth washed out with soap. If my parents even thought for a second I was cursing, they would sit me down and ask me what I said. If I was disrespectful, I was sent to timeout. That usually did the trick for me. So hearing what I heard…I was disgusted. That child could grow up thinking that aggression and slander is the way to handle things, even when you’re in public. One thing the word of God says that always sticks with me is, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) This means that we should guide our children toward the truth in a way that will not scar them from life. This is not to say that you shouldn’t scold your kids. The word of God also says, “You shall beat him with a rod, and deliver his soul from hell.” (Proverbs 23:14) If I were to clarify this a bit more, I would interpret it as meaning engrain the truth so deep into your children, that it’s like beating them with a rod. When your children know the truth, they escape a lot of hell (crippling life issues). When you yell profanities at your children, they are learning that that is an acceptable way to cope. You may not think it’s a big deal in the future, but trust me, kids learn fast.
It was New Year’s Eve and I already had a lot going on. Lots of stress and unknowns. My head was pounding so hard I thought my brain was gonna fall out of my head. To be honest, I just wanted to be a party-pooper and go home to sleep until next year (literally). But I had to make the best of the present because I had obligations. There was no one else to watch the kindergarteners at church that night, and of course, there were over 100 people there ready to ring in the new year. So I stayed with them that night, and the plan was to bring them in with their families at 12:00. You know that mistake you make when you accidentally drop a can of soda on the floor, and now you know it’s gonna spray in your face when you open it. Well imagine dropping 100 cans of soda and opening them at the same time. That was the atmosphere for about 4 hours. I knew all of these children very well, and on any other day this would’ve been fine. But they had had bowls full of sugar and were now running all over the small-scale room. Every second, there was a child pulling on my shirt with some request, and since I wasn’t in the best frame of mind, my responses were cut short. I had to really pray to God and find some patience within myself to get through those last few hours, but thankfully, he gave me strength. My point in mentioning this is that I have an idea of what one day is like in the life of a mother. Restraint. Tenderness. Supervision.
So I am not writing this “diss” mothers that are truly struggling. Motherhood is one of the most important and fulfilling jobs a woman could ever have, or so I’ve heard. That’s why God made us to carry children, because we’re sensitive beings. If you’re a mother, you deserve a 10 ft. trophy! I only write this as a warning to mothers who don’t understand or care about the effect they have on their children. Please, PLEASE care. They are our future, so let’s help make the future a happy one. It’s okay to make mistakes, but mistakes like that can always be remedied by confiding in a friend, or leader from church and seeking some advice. I’ve started reading this book called, “Am I Messing Up My Kids?” by Lysa Terkeurst. I wanted to read it just out of curiosity, in case there’s some slight chance I might have kids myself. So far, I would definitely recommend it. Lysa is a Christian author of 20+ books, including devotionals, children’s stories, and journals. She has 5 children, 2 of which were adopted. She is also President of Proverbs 31 ministries, a non-profit Christian ministry designed to guide women into a healthier relationship with God. She, of course, has years of experience in parenting and understands the ins and outs that go with it. Sometimes it’s good to learn from other people’s mistakes and create a set of values in which you do things by. I hope I have effectively communicated now the importance of having your kids in a respectful environment. They are such precious gifts that should be nurtured not tarnished. On a lighter note, I left a picture below of one way to guide your children back into the light. When I was 3 years old, I said my first cuss word because I heard it said on t.v. Let’s just say it rhymed with the word duck. This is how I felt after I said it:
I didn’t curse again for a VERY long time.