Life is for Living Every Day

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Sometimes, I Would Much Rather Run Away

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Once upon a time, late one evening in a home in Barbados, there was a conversation.

“See, you haven’t washed this dish properly.”

“Yes I did.”

“No, you didn’t.  Hold it up to the light.  See the marks on the glass?” 

“Where?”

“There, in the corners. It’s still dirty.”

“I don’t see anything.”

“You don’t want to see.  Just wash the dish again.”

“But mummy …”

“Wash. The. Dish. Now. Please.”

And yes, it was late in the evening and I was so tired it would have been easier to just wash the dish myself instead of using my breath for so much conversation.  I knew that Nathan felt the same way too but what lesson would he have learnt if I kept fixing his mistakes?  Nothing – except laziness and irresponsibility. 

Sometimes it’s easy to give in to temptation to just get things done minus the attitude.  I know because I’m guilty of doing this especially on those days when Nathan is being deliberately passively resistant.  This is how the scenario plays out:

  • You give him a task
  • He shows he doesn’t want to do it by rushing through whatever needs to be done in two minutes flat and goes back to his room
  • The task is half completed or not done properly at all
  • You call him back to finish the job
  • He now moves super super slow with a frown on his face and defiant body language

The first few times we experienced this I would stress myself out by complaining and quarrelling and complaining some more; now I’m a whole lot quieter.  I simply make a request, check when it’s done, re-request to have it re-done if not done to my specifications, re-check one more time, and insist on repeating the process if necessary – all without raising my voice. 

Nathan is at the age where he is mastering in T&T 101 i.e. testing boundaries and testing my patience.  I cannot depend on his teachers at school to teach him the basics he needs to know e.g. washing dishes, preparing meals, doing laundry or cleaning his room.  And it’s up to his dad and I as well to teach him the foundation on which the basics are built e.g. mutual respect, openness, trust, responsibility and commitment. 

I admit that some days I would much rather run away and not deal with teenaged hormones … but I won’t give up.

#NaBloPoMo

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Author: galeweithers

Barbadian mother of teenager; lover of laughter; happy to follow God's lead to be a rainbow in the lives of others.

4 thoughts on “Sometimes, I Would Much Rather Run Away

  1. I know exactly what you mean! My son will be 13 in approximately 3 weeks. 12 has been trying enough and I know it is just the beginning. But, I love him and I am determined to raise him with the values he needs and most of all – to follow Christ.

    In order to teach him to follow Christ, I have to show him Christ. That’s the hard part.

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    • I strongly believe we all love our children dearly, in most instances more than we love ourselves. The hard part as you rightly say is trying to show them Christ – in ourselves. All ages are trying – I initially thought older meant better .. boy was I wrong! Keep on the ‘teaching right values’ track and all should be well. Thanks for sharing. I am right in there with you.

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  2. Have you been to my house? That could have been my son you were talking about. Sometimes I feel to (literally) light a fire under him. Lol. He just turned 12 and is also testing the limits of my patience. He brings me closer to God.
    But the thing is, I can see what he can’t and so I have to stick behind him and push and prod and also let him handle consequences.
    Thank you for letting us know we are not alone.

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  3. Marisse, wait until he gets to be 16 … can’t say I didn’t warn you! The more I talk to Nathan the more he moves backwards; seriously. And the slower he moves, the closer I am to a major meltdown BUT it gets better. It has to. Because we refuse to give up. God will give us the patience and love we need to see our children through, because that’s exactly what He did for us. Thanks for sharing and good luck!

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