As a parent it is so easy to get caught in the stress of it all and start shouting when shouting really isn't necessary. Or we stress out over things that sometimes could have a simple solution. Of course, there really are times that are so hard and trying and no solution at all seems to work. I'm not talking about those things... but instead it's the every day things that we let get to us and wear us down.
It happens to me.
But sometimes I surprise myself and come up with completely random things that actually work. I get creative instead of overly serious.
A recent example:
Liza has been getting attitude with me lately. One day at lunch she started letting that attitude out and I looked at her and said "Liza! You don't have to let that attitude come out! You are in charge of it! Be the boss of it and tell it that it isn't allowed to come out! Push it back down girl!" And something clicked in her little head and she started pushing that attitude back down. She giggled and said "I'm going to push it all the way to my toes!" And we laughed as she wiggled around and I said something about how attitudes are good in the toes because it makes them dance and we started dancing out our attitudes. (Because, ya know, I have an attitude sometimes too.)
Now, it wasn't 100% effective because sometimes her attitude still gets the best of her... but she is learning. Learning to be in control. And sometimes when that attitude starts to come up I just have to simply remind her to push it back down.
I think the key to success in this situation was knowing my child. Liza is a girl who likes to be in charge. She has her own little set of imaginary kids that she bosses around. So I used that for something good. To teach her a good way to use that control and how to boss something that should be bossed.
Another creative example:
The other day Liza decided she didn't like the wall beside her bed. She told me it was scary and gave her bad dreams. I have no idea what brought this on and I she wasn't giving me any clues. Well, what's a mom to do? I could move her bed away from the wall. I could ignore her. I could do lots of things. But in another random moment I looked at the wall and started laughing. Liza looked at me like I was crazy so I explained to her that the wall was really silly! That it's not scary at all and every time I look at it it just makes me laugh because it is sooo silly! Then I looked away from the wall and stopped laughing. Then I looked at it real quick and laughed again. And before I knew it Liza was playing right along... looking at the wall that a moment ago was scary and now she was laughing at it. We now have our silly little game each night when I tuck her in. We steal glances at that silly wall and just giggle together.
Being creative has rescued me from situations with my kids sooo many times! And you know what? You can find that creativity too. You can find wisdom for each and every situation. God CREATED your child and we are told in James 1:5 that if we lack wisdom we can just ask for it. In the midst of it all you can just say a quick prayer. "God, I need wisdom for THIS." God cares about our kids more than we do. Hard to imagine yeah?
But we do need to train our children. I do not want to pass on fear. I do not want to simply be he authoritarian in my children's' lives. There is so much more that needs to happen! I need to do everything that I can to turn them into good adults who love God. Creativity has been a great tool for me on the journey.
How about you? Do you have stories about creative parenting??