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Three ways my children bless me when they’re acting up


A wise person once said that you should never pray for patience because what you’ll end up with is a lot more opportunities to practice it.

That person must have been a parent.

Let’s face it—as a parent, not every day feels like a blessing. Sometimes despite our best efforts, we’re left exhausted, burnt out, and questioning what on earth we’re doing. There are days that I’m convinced my kids are the sweetest that ever lived, and days that I think they might be demon-possessed. Still, I have found that there are three ways my children bless me even when they’re acting up.

  • They help me grow. It’s hard to remain calm when your child is kicking and screaming. It’s harder still if you’re in the middle of the grocery store when the temper tantrum hits (I can’t count how many times I’ve been there). The first time it happened I remember feeling so flustered that I took my son and left, sure that every person in the store was watching me. After a few more fits, and a second child to practice with, I’ve become less flustered and more level-headed. Of course, as my kids have grown, their tantrums have taken on new shapes, but I’ve grown as well and learned how to stay calm in the midst of it.
  • They remind me. No matter how upset I get, or how many times they slam their door, I love my kids with all my heart. That never changes, and in those moments, I’m reminded that I have a loving Father who feels the same way. Regardless of what I’ve done, or what I will do, God loves me wholeheartedly and wants what’s best for me. This truth, though I’ve known it all my life, never quite sank in until I had kids and my kids made mistakes.
  • They teach me. I’ve always been fond of psychology, analyzing behaviors and figuring out why people act the way they do. I studied it in college, and since becoming a parent, I’ve gotten plenty of opportunities to learn even more. Growing up is tough business, and while there are times that kids are acting up simply to act up, there may also be underlying problems causing their behavior. Maybe they’re being bullied at school, or they feel inadequate. Perhaps there’s a test coming up that makes them nervous. There are a multitude of reasons why kids do what they do, and I’m learning a lot—not just about why the fits occur, but what I can do to help.

All joking aside, these three things are true in my life. Realizing that my kids really do bless me, even on the bad days, can help me change my perspectives in the moment and shift the outcome of an entire day. Tantrums, fits, and defiance are part of being a parent, but they don’t have to be all bad if we can learn from them.

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