Our family has been very fussy lately and that's putting it politely. It's almost Easter but it seems like we have been walking around on eggshells for a while. Every single one of us seems poised for a battle. Not constantly but consistently, I have been discouraged about the tension and intensity displayed in my family, maybe with the exception of our oldest OS and his only excuse would be that he's at West Point dealing with his own issues! Just being real here.
Saturday night we had a family meeting. We gathered around the dinner table and aired our grievances. I thought I was the only with the legitimate issues but it became apparent that Aaron and Ike had been itching for a chance to get a few things off their adolescent chests too. I don't mean to say they were rude, it's just that they needed to voice some concerns they, too were having with the way our household was being run.
Truly the Lord blessed the time. There was no anger, no bitterness. We engaged in healthy, respectful conversation. Dare I say, I think we even negotiated a little. And here are some of the things that I realized.
Children like boundaries. Duh. I see kids all the time that have no supervision. Our guys are well-monitored but they still needed more boundaries in some areas of life.
Children like bedtimes. Even at age 14 and 12. When things are loosey-goosey around here, we fall apart. Isaac even commented, "I want a bedtime!" No eruptions or hissy-fits, things became instantly calmer which shocked and blessed me. These bedtimes are not rigid so there is some flexibility but in our family, frankly, we all need bedtimes, including the Hubs and me.
Children like knowing what's expected of them. I will soon blog about two "seminars" I have conducted with my OS which were met with some level of joy. Not oozing, over the top joy but it was surprisingly fun!
Children like security. They like it when Mom and Dad get along and seem to be able to work things out. Mom and Dad get along when Mom thinks the kitchen is clean and things are running efficiently. Dad likes it when there's no yelling. Both attainable goals that give our home a sense of normalcy, even though we pride ourselves on being a little weird.
After the meeting, the DH announced that any good meeting has food. While the boys cleaned the kitchen, he ran out and got our favorite ice cream. Our meeting was a success!
I leave you today with a verse of Scrip- ture which as usual, has relevance in our daily lives..."Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4
Raising a strong family isn't the easiest thing but I'm glad we are putting in the time to try, with God's help, to do it the best way we can.