Thursday, January 3, 2013

Honing Your "Mommy Radar"

There's this wise woman I know named Elizabeth.  Mom of ten, author of Raising Godly Tomatoes, she really has tons of wisdom to pour out, and she shares freely and generously each day through her (free) website, and online forums, as well as through the book she recently published.  I've been reading back through her book, and came across this wonderful quote.

Here's a gem from her book (which I *highly* recommend... as in, if I can only recommend one book -- other than the Bible -- to a young mom, this is the one I recommend):

"I have what I call "Mommy Radar". It goes off whenever I sense something needing correction. I'm not sure how I acquired Mommy Radar, but I suspect I've had it all along and just didn't know. What I thought was irritability was perhaps at times really the beginnings of Mommy Radar or Mommy Radar being ignored. 
You see, it used to annoy me when my children whined, complained, or argued with me. It frustrated me when I had to request something multiple times before they'd do it, and it upset me even more when they would do it, but do it grudgingly. Slow obedience bothered me too, and sneakiness, and laziness, and so on. Because I was new in my parenting career, I thought that all these things that annoyed me were "normal" for children to do. I thought I needed to learn to somehow tolerate all of these until they "grew out of it".

Since then I've wised up. Now I know they won't grow out of it if I don't put some effort into training it out of them. If I want better behavior I'd better do something to make it happen."

It is so critical to develop, and then listen to, that "mommy radar" Elizabeth talks about.  Gregg Harris put it this way: "Train them until you *like* them."

Dads often get this. I've heard countless stories of young dads telling their wives something they need to cut out, add in, stop doing, or start doing, with their child, and all too often the young mom scoffs and allows the child to keep doing what annoys her husband.  Listen to your husband!  If he is annoyed by it, others are too!  If you are internally annoyed by something, others are too.

 As parents, we are in the business of raising up, sharpening, and shaping these little "arrows" so that they can be shot to the far reaches of the earth for God's use.  It all begins with listening to those little annoyances that God means to spur us on toward training them to be enjoyable, pleasant people. To you- mom of a little one- be encouraged!  If there is something rubbing you the wrong way that you see in your child, God gave you that vantage point so that you can *do something* about it.  He has put you in a unique position where you not only SEE but where He has given you the *authority* to deal with those issues in your child.  Be faithful!  Be diligent! Listen to that "mommy radar" and put in the consistent daily work necessary to help your child be shaped and sharpened for God's use.


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