Drawing Near Our Children During Bad Attitudes

The inspiration for this comes directly from Sally Clarkson – so grateful for her wisdom and how God uses it in my heart. She’s one of the main voices I’ve chosen to listen to right now and God always blesses and gently refocuses me through her words, whether on her podcasts or through her books. I highly recommend reading/listening to her!

A few weeks ago we had some out-of-routine days, and by the end of the week, one of my son’s behavior was reflecting his need for attention. This particular behavior often has the effect of wanting me to retreat or fight. But I’ve been begging Jesus to help me see that it’s a sign that I need to draw nearer to my children, even when I don’t feel like it.

So after being gone all morning and returning home from a tough car ride, I hastily put my toddler to bed for a late nap, and asked my boys to sit down for reading hour so I could gather my thoughts (we still needed to do school for the day but I was not anxious to engage the current attitudes). Within 5 minutes, one boy fell asleep on the couch.

I knew I needed to connect with the other son, and I could hear Sally’s words in my head about drawing nearer to them when they have behavior problems vs. shutting them out, and creating a special place for reconnection.

So I simply lit a candle, and filled these little bowls with Mama’s special treats (that are usually off limits to the boys): cranberry glazed walnuts and dark chocolate chips), and invited him over to join me for a special treat.

His demeanor immediately changed. I apologized for my own bad attitude and lack of gentleness, and I reaffirmed my love for him and how glad I am that he is my son. After a few moments, I asked him what he wanted to do. His response?

“Could we do my schoolwork, just you and me, Mama?”

Everything that I just described is ONLY the Holy Spirit in me, so I share it to encourage you to trust that Jesus moves in us even when we don’t feel like it, and we can trust him to continue working in our own bad behavior. Praise God He draws near us when we least deserve it. Let’s go and do likewise.

What are ways you draw near to your children when their actions show that they need it? Share below and let’s encourage each other in this area! It often is the simplest ways that make the biggest difference, and mean the most to each of them.

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