Toddler Tantrums

People warned me that the three’s can be a difficult age — harder than the two’s often. I didn’t know what to expect until now. I also remember seeing other people’s kids act up in stores and think, “If they were my kids, I would discipline them more, and they wouldn’t act like that. The parents must be doing something wrong for their kids to act like that. The parents probably need to be more firm or consistent.” Well, guess what? I don’t think that way anymore, unless it’s obvious that the parents aren’t handling a situation correctly.

Have you ever felt like you wanted to simply disappear into the floor? Have you ever wished that the child whining or throwing a temper tantrum was someone else’s? Have you ever watched someone else’s kid throw a temper tantrum and be glad it’s not your child? Yes. Yes. Yes.

I am starting to wonder if Helen Keller II has come to stay with us. Not a pretty picture and certainly not enjoyable or appropriate. I am finding out first hand that you can discipline a child repeatedly, and if they are determined enough to do their own thing, they will persist until you begin to wonder… How can the same child who seems to have no ability to pick up toys be the same child who has enough energy to resist any boundaries that have been established. Okay, yes it’s nice to know that my child will probably be a great leader in the future. It’s also encouraging to know that I am doing as God has commanded so requiring obedience is necessary. Yes, I also know I am not perfect so there are ways that I can improve — be more patient — even when I have had to deal with hours of disciplining the same child over repeated offenses. It’s easy to be loving and patient when you have had to deal with the same offense a couple of times. Day after day, hour after hour, sometimes minute after minute, dealing with the same sinful behaviors leaves a parent — me — exhausted, shaky, and frustrated.

This morning, I cried out to God, saying, “God, they’re your kids. You made them. You know that I am not perfect. You are going to have to help me. Because I am getting tired of dealing with these cycles of disobedience.”

One thing for sure, parenthood is a lesson in humility. When I was single, my life seemed wonderful. It was “easy” and “uneventful,” but since becoming a wife and more than that a mother, I have discovered my own imperfections and inability to control situations the way I would prefer. I think that is what frustrates me the most — the inability to control my kids to the extent that they behave at all times like miniature adults. I know, you are probably laughing… perhaps because you can relate to your own similar experiences or because you know how futile such an endeavor is with the “difficult” child. I also realize that I cannot do this on my own strength.

My prayer is for a heart change with my kid(s) and for extra grace and forbearance and love and patience… in the raising of my kids. God gave them to me — not to other parents that I might think could do a better job with my kids. Knowing that, I know that some how, some way, this too shall become something good in our lives because God is in control.

If you think of us, please pray for our boys to understand their need for a Savior and to desire to obey the Lord. Pray for my husband and I to persevere — even when we don’t see any positive results — and to love our kids unconditionally. Pray for extra grace and a good dose of patience. Pray for me to rely on God’s strength to be the parent that He wants me to be.

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5 thoughts on “Toddler Tantrums

  1. Mom Knight

    I’m praying, Amy! I am always glad to know specific requests. I do know how hard it is to be consistent with difficult children! J was not an easy child (B wasn’t always easy either 🙂 )–and look how well they turned out! Praise God and don’t give up hope and faith. I’ll keep praying. love, Mom

  2. mommyofboyz

    Thanks for praying! Yes, I am looking forward to those days when discipline is rarely needed. In the mean time, I am trying to tire the boys out with physical and mental stimuli. I took them outside to play on the swing set, in the mud, and with their baseball set.

  3. david (Pop Pop)

    Amy, if you realize all that, you already have the tools you will need. If anyone can be a good mother to three young boys it is certainly you! You always have our love and our prayers.

  4. Ruth

    Ooh, ooh — been there! What am I saying? AM there! Disciplining my Cory is like speaking to a brick wall. He’s obsessed with hitting Kirstyn (hammer, fists, Tonka trucks, etc.) and playing in the toilets. Yesterday he tried to flush 3 bouncy balls down a poop-clogged toilet. Not pretty. No matter how many times I disipline — very, very, very firmly — he insists on disobedience! So different from my compliant first-born Kirstyn. You’re doing great, Amy. I admire you so much. We WILL see the rewards of our obedience, consistancy and perseverence!

  5. mommyofboyz

    Thanks for all your encouragement! Yeah, parenting is one of the hardest jobs out there, but I also know it can be one of the most rewarding. I have to keep learning to throw myself upon the Lord’s mercies so that I can be the mommy that my kids need and that God has called me to be. Woo! So glad that I have a great God to help me! Thank you, Lord!

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