I remember the theme song of the mornings that you're probably going through this week... The New School Year Shuffle. And it doesn't always end on a happy note, right? Trying to get your kids awake, dressed, breakfasted, with all the right supplies out the door on time for school is a dance that you've yet to master. And then the second verse happens when they're back home and it's time for dinner, homework and new bedtime routines. If your kid would just stop dawdling, or asking for an extra bowl of cereal, or misplacing their shoes, or, or, or ... then you wouldn't be singing that tune with such a growl or that high pitched tone, right?! Hey, don't be too hard on yourself ... you still have 9 more months to practice!
One of the five important principles we encourage parents to lean into is this .... "Fight for the Heart". The quote above says it all ... sometimes it's easy to forget that you can win the argument and force the right behavior but lose the heart in the process.
So what if they go to school just this once in their jeans and PJ top because it has a picture of Batman? Does it matter much if the only lunch they agree to take without a meltdown today includes only foods that are yellow? Can your kid leave their lightsaber on the dining room table so they're on time this once? And if you don't notice their hair isn't brushed till you look at them in the rearview mirror, and they don't allow you to do the lick and stick pat down before they jump out of the car, is that ok?
Use that quote as a filter and you'll know the answer every time. Fight for their heart and watch the new dance you boogie to in the morning and sway to at night.
By the way... as I think about our son Cody -- who is now 26 and getting married next month! -- I'm so thankful to Father God that I let him wear his PJ top to school on occasion, tried my best to not to fight it when he requested only yellow food for a season, learned to not stress when he left his lightsaber on the table, and just smiled when he ducked at every Mom-spit attempt to make his hair stay down. Because Brad and I fought for his heart, he's ready to pour into his bride-to-be Ashley's heart now ... and we get to be part of the next chapter in their journey.
Parenting isn't easy, but it's so worth it when you fight right. Fight for their hearts.
Praying for you and cheering you on,
Kids & Families Director