Thursday, 11 February 2016

When your children make you so so angry!

It had been a long day and I was tired. An exciting, yet LOUD (and apparently scary) thunderstorm had woken us all for a few hours the night before and we had been up and down with a particularly scared 4 year old and a grizzly bub who had a cold. I woke up and decided to face the day with a positive attitude despite the lack of sleep and carry on with the days plans. Luke stayed home with the crowd and I headed off to the next town for my big grocery shopping trip with my 3 year old daughter in tow. The older 3 kids take it in turns going shopping with me and we have some quality one on one time together and I usually buy them a yummy treat just for them. When we were home, it was the usual, prepare lunch for everyone, eat, clean up, unpack all the groceries. Luke left for work for a late shift in the afternoon, I still had so much to do and was getting tireder...and a little grumpy. I realised that there will always be more on my to do list that I can accomplish in the 24 hours I'm given so I decided to ignore the laundry and muddy passage way and get started on tea. Tea was finally ready. 

 I was feeling pretty proud at myself at this point, we were only having fried rice but it did look quite spectacular with the bean sprouts and omelet mixed in, plus I managed to get it cooked and plated up with a squawking baby attached to my leg and at times with only one arm, I must be a pretty amazing mum. My leg attached baby had caused my stress levels to rise though. The minute I called tea, my 6 year old says he's feeling sick and can't eat ( he was getting a cold too). The thought of more sick kids makes me panic a little and I'm getting grumpier. I excuse him to go lay down on the couch and look at books. I sat miss 15 month old on her booster seat and my 3 and 4 year old make it to the table at snail pace. They are extremely tired by this time of the day from being up the night before. They are super grumpy. I am super grumpy. 
And the war begins...

Master 4 year old "I will not eat THAT, I will not eat this, this is YUCKY, EWWWW.
He's yelling by this point and emotional, my voice goes up a notch and I'm getting angry. We begin an immature tattle. Back and forth it goes. I go on about the starving kids in Africa, I go on about being thankful and grateful, I make sure I TELL him how I've just been cooking in the kitchen for the last hour, and how I put CELERY in the fried rice instead of peas because he likes celery and doesn't like peas. My voice is getting a little loud...okay I started to yell too.  I go on and on. My 3 year old joins in with the wining and complaining, which fuels my fire. I take one look at my son, who I already know is sensitive. I've gone too far. I've blown it. My boy's crying and is still yelling and comes out with "I DON'T LIKE YOU!!!" It's gotten personal and I shut my mouth. 

That night as I'm tucking him in bed I realise that I need to treat this sweet boy with gentleness. I need to get a hold of anger in my life before it erupts. As I was later laying in bed, I was praying and reflecting on my day. The Lord began speaking to my heart about anger. I realised how much I love my son, even when he doesn't like my food. But I needed to show him that. The rules of our house still apply to him - if he refuses to eat his tea there is no food until breakfast the next morning. But surely there is a gentle, more loving way to get this across. 

The next morning I opened my 'Word For Today' devotional before I was even out of bed and began reading. It was titled 'Control Your Anger'!
God couldn't be clearer now. 

'Don't sin by letting anger control you.' Ephesians 4:26

'Be angry without sinning. Don't go to bed angry. Don't give the devil opportunity [to work]. Ephesians 4:26-27

And this verse sums it all up nicely for me:

'A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.' Proverbs 15:1

I then asked to Lord for help and decided that from that very day onward I would be sweet and gentle with my children. If they are angry I will not respond with anger, but rather, with a gentle word instead. 

I had a good opportunity to practice this that same night when I was feeling tired again and was also feeling drained and unwell and coming down with the cold some of the children had. We all sat down for tea, I had made potato and zuchinni fritters. All my children begin eating and seem happy, except one. My beloved 4 year old son. He's not happy. "I DONT LIKE THIS I"M NOT GOING TO EAT IT!!" 
I was sick and tried. I could of given myself these excuses and responded with anger but instead I smiled sweetly at him and quietly told him that that was ok. And ignored any further comments from him and went on eating. In the end he just watched his siblings eat and was quiet as a mouse. I served up the children their dessert - but master 4 year old did not get any - he had not eaten any tea. When he began protesting I quietly said in a nice voice that he must eat his tea if he wants some mango and yoghurt. Watching the others eat must have been too much because eventually, he took one bite and said " I don't like it." Then he sheepishly grins and eats more and says  "actually I DO like it!" He eats, and then happily gets his dessert. We had a peaceful, happy tea. 

That was scripture in action, a gentle answer really does turn away wrath. I thank the Lord for these lessons I need to learn. I have read these verses over and over again throughout my life but when I put the word in action, it breathes life into my life. We are meant to be doers of the word and not hearers only. I was guilty with being a hearer right there and the Lord in his wisdom dealt with me so gently also. 

Blessings, Peta



  1. Oh Peta {{}}
    Parenting is not for the faint hearted that's for sure.
    I do so relate, it's taken me many years to get where I am today and even now there are occasionally times I still blow it.
    Agree with all you say but it is easier said than done.
    These days when a situation like this occurs you'd find me muttering to myself 'disconnect, disconnect', helps to not engage, to 'rise above' it. as you did with the meal second time around. {{{}}}}

  2. That's a great idea Erin! And I find takes daily practice to keep calm! Blessings

  3. Praise God for the victory. What a wonderful Mum you are. Being a mother of young ones really is boot camp lessons in how to work with the Holy Spirit. Smiles Michelle

    1. Thanks for the encouragement Michelle! I must have needed an extra dose of character development and lessons as God has been teaching me SOO much since becoming mum to these 4 (soon to be 5) little ones! Blessings