Those with meek and gentle children are enrolled in parenting 101. Those with children who push the limits of our patience are enrolled in parenting 505. “Consider the more challenging child as a blessing. Could it be possible that you need this child as much as he needs you? Be careful to not say things that imply that their behavior is who they are. They are God’s children. That is their eternal identity and potential. Bad behavior is an act, not identity.” Elder Lynn G. Robins, April 2011 General Conference
We all struggle. There is nothing wrong in having challenges in our lives. We are a little slow to acknowledge those challenges. We would rather tell everyone the good that is going on in our lives. the problem with this can be, people will only see the good and assume that no one has challenges, struggles and trials like they do. We are creating a false sense of identity. When I read of the things people accomplish, I think about all the things that went wrong in my day and why can’t I be more productive like they were.
I am not saying we need to be a negative, whiny, crying people. I am suggesting that without the bad how can we appreciate and celebrate the good?
I have several children that suffer from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder. They have challenges from life like being “torn” from their birth families. They have been affected by trauma, abuse, in utero drug abuse, alcohol abuse and various other issues.
If I don’t tell people how hard some days are, how can they appreciate when I have a good day? If I don’t acknowledge the bad days, how can I appreciate the good days?
While I may describe my family honestly, it is important for the rest of us to not judge. It is important to not wonder if I am a good parent or not. It is important to support, empathize but not critique or criticize. The fact is, my children get to make their own choices about their behavior. I can lead and guide (and sometimes I mess that up) but ultimately it is their choice based on some other factor besides me.
I love my children. I love my family. I struggle. I complain. I get overwhelmed. I am tired (been up since 3ish a.m. this morning). I am overworked. However in spite of all of that, I had the best day yesterday. Only one of my children were missing from dinner yesterday. There was laughter, teasing, joking and pure fun at our house. I wouldn’t trade those moments of heaven for anything. I can’t appreciate the good if I don’t live through the bad.
Evaluate where you are. Think about your trials, struggles and joys. Move forward. Move ahead and STRIVE to be better. That is all we can really do….STRIVE.
So, pull yourself up, smile and enjoy the life that Heavenly Father has blessed you with. You can do this and you are not in this alone.