Cooper decided he was moving out today, he packed a bag and was heading out the back door. His little brothers stood at the window noses pressed against the glass watching him head down the driveway. They were crying.
Cooper told Kevin that he’s tired of our rules, and wants to live somewhere else! How in the world do we parent an 8-year old?
He confuses me. I am still able to parent my little kids without much trouble. They still “need” me. The big one, not so much. He wants to be a big. He is pushing his limits. Where do I draw the line? Do I ignore the pouting when he doesn’t get his way, or do I correct him? How do I teach him what disrespect looks like? Do I continue to coax him and prod him to remember the chores that he’s forgotten again? Or do I sit back and let the consequences happen naturally? How do I raise a boy who wants to be a man?
Failure is the word that runs through the reader board in my mind as I attempt to be the best parent to my biggest boy. I feel so unprepared for the future parent that I am supposed to evolve into. Sometimes I wonder if I had known how hard parenting was, if I would have been brave enough to become a mom? I don’t know if I would have.
I left our house this afternoon, feeling lost. I prayed again for wisdom in raising this big boy, and for a heart that seeks God’s will for Cooper’s life. I felt better then. While I was sitting on the couch at my mom’s house, my phone rang. My old roommate called me. Cooper had been at her son’s birthday party today.
“Jess,” she said, “I just wanted to call and tell you that Cooper is such a great kid. He was the most polite boy at the party today, you should be proud of him.”
Hearing the praise roll off her tongue towards my son, warmed my heart. It made the night a little brighter, and I thanked the Lord for the glimmer of hope that Kevin and I are doing things right.
I am going to try a new approach with my sons’ instead of getting after them. Especially with Coop. I am going to spend the next season of time, slowing down and actually thinking before I discipline him. I am going to take the time to STOP and PRAY before reacting. I will read my bible more, so I can prepare myself to use godly methods to teach him, instead of flying by the seat of my pants.
The Lord says in Deuteronomy 11:
“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.”
This is my parenting strategy from now on. Intentional parenting. God-minded. Hopeful and firmly rooted in things of value.