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No one ever wins in a power struggle. I used to feel like I had to win. I couldn’t back down. But I have painfully learned that even when I win, I don’t feel like I have.

This last week I had a couple of parenting moments that reminded me of this very point.

One child had his feelings hurt and another was overly stressed out. I did not respond my best. When it’s my will against theirs, I find myself feeling frustrated, and occasionally a little bit angry. My voice will raise and then theirs will match it. The more I struggle to maintain control of the situation the harder they fight to maintain ground. When I am in this parenting mode and I get them to do what I think is right I see defeat on their faces. And a tinge of sadness. Which usually means I will feel regret for the poor way I handled things.

But I also recognize I cannot give my children whatever they want just because they put up a fight. Then what? What I really want for my children is to learn to become amazing adults who can handle the challenges of adulthood. Who can love and be loved. Adults that can allow God into their hearts so that everyday challenge become more manageable. Fighting with them doesn’t show them any of that.

This morning as I sat outside in the beautiful city of Nauvoo reading my scriptures I came across a simple passage that states

 Trust in the Lord

If my will is not the way and letting the kids have their will is not the way, that only leaves me with the Lord’s will. When I trust that He will guide me in my parenting I am calm. When I remember they are His children before they are mine I am kinder. When I know what He would have me do I am more confident.

Laura told me this last week that when I don’t know what to do in my parenting I should tell the kids such and step away for a minute. Now after reading this scripture with parenting in mind I see the NEED of prayer and supplication to God to understand His will. Maybe I won’t have a long time to do that because of life demands but God knows that. I’m sure I can certainly retreat to the bathroom for a couple of minutes and strive to be right with God so that I can be right by my children. To give Him freely my will and let Him guide me to His will.

There are moments I have done this and experienced the parenting joys that come as the reward. Peace follows instead of guilt, even when the child doesn’t love what I’m saying or doing.

I imagine this will take practice, lots of trying before I have this down. But my children are worth all of my efforts. God loved them before I ever did, and I know He is just waiting for me to ask so that He may intervene on their behalf.  His will is the only will that can win every time.

1 Comment

  1. I only wish I had learned this bit of wisdom years ago when I was trying to be a good parent.

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