One thing that makes me laugh is to hear stories about moms yelling and arguing to get the whole family dressed, ready, and to church on time. Poor mom is trying to do something uplifting and positive for the family and yet is screaming and yelling at the kids to get their socks on and their behinds in the car, “NOW!”
Recently, my friend was having this challenge and it began every Saturday night when she asked her kids to lay out their Sunday best to help lessen the early Sunday morning rush to church. Arguing, fighting, and whining through the nighttime routine carried over into Sunday morning.
My friend had concluded that the kids were losing interest in church and it became her battle to do whatever it took to get them there…including fight and argue with them, oh, and there were some bribes too!! She and I discussed her weekly stress and the toll it was having on her. After much discussion, I realized that the children had not necessarily lost interest in church, they were just not interested in the power struggle to wear what the mom wanted them to wear on Sunday.
I asked her,”would you rather have your children at church in mis-matched clothes they have picked out themselves OR would you rather fight with them so much that everyone is stressed and they eventually quit attending church?”
For her, surrendering control and letting the children pick out their own clothes was very difficult. Now each Sunday her kids arrive to church, some weeks in shorts, some weeks in tennis shoes, and sometimes in their “church” clothes, but they are there and there is no longer a battle zone in their home.
I think of this often as I look at my children who are growing so quickly. I try to step back and pick my battles. Is it really important that my child’s clothes are not perfect if they are healthy and happy? Does it really matter if they are getting good grades? Choosing good friends? I say no, the little things do not matter.
Parents, don’t be afraid to let your children make some of their own choices. They need to make wrong choices while they are young so they can learn how to make right ones as they grow older. If you can do it now while they are young, you’ll be surprised at what great people they will turn out to be!!
Do you have a story where you had to pick a battle? Surrender control? We would love to hear it!!