Before having a child of my own, I know I saw parenthood through rose-colored glasses. I’m pretty sure my mindset was, “Do all the right things, and your child will behave perfectly!” As an educator in public schools for 14 years, I witnessed a lot of misbehaviors, and recall thinking, and even saying, “I would never let my child act like that!” And now we have a two year old…who has a very strong will!
We started to realize we were in for a wild ride when our sweet little girl started banging her head on the floor when she would get mad. And this started before she was anywhere near the age of two! Then she went through a short biting stage, but that didn’t last long (probably because I yelled pretty loudly the few times she bit me…startled, reflex reaction I guess…it hurt 😬). I feel like there was a short calm period after that, but it didn’t last long.
The “terrible twos” have been quite an eye-opening experience! The biggest surprise has been the screaming. I’m not talking about a cute little squeaky toddler scream, either. I mean a scream that will make you think the sky is falling, there’s a pack of wolves on your heels, and nothing will ever be right again! How does this little girl even know how to make a sound like that?! And how can she keep making that sound for so long?!
The giant scream is not just reserved for the big problems, either. Here are a few of the things that have caused her to produce the same startling sound (which I’m pretty sure the neighbors can hear):
- being sleepy
- being hungry
- tv time being over
- not being able to get her leg in her pants
- dropping a piece of food
- having a piece of fuzz on her blanket/clothes/washcloth, etc.
- being told “no” about something
- not wanting to go to sleep
- being in the carseat
- tearing a sticker
- a puzzle piece not fitting the first time
- mama picking out the wrong clothes/shoes/hairbow, etc.
- having to brush her teeth
- having to wash her hair
- having to take a bath
- having to get out of the bath
- I guess you get the point!
On top of the blood-curdling screams, she’s started saying “no” to just about everything (in a voice that sounds more like mine than her own), running away when she doesn’t want to do something (usually to our closet, and it’s hard not to get tickled), and trying to hit when she gets into trouble (that never ends well for her). I had heard about the terrible twos for as long as I can remember, had witnessed other children at this age, and thought I kind of knew what to expect. But I was not prepared for such a large amount of rebellion and stubbornness in such a tiny creature.
But something one of our dear preacher friends has said several times keeps coming back to me. I won’t get the words exactly right, but the idea is that we don’t have to teach our children to behave badly; they are born with the sin nature that we all have to turn to Jesus to be rescued from.
This precious little girl has to deal with the flesh, just like I do. And it’s my job to show her that Jesus can help her overcome all the feelings, emotions, and desires that will get her into trouble. It’s my responsibility to teach by example and to correct and encourage her as she grows. Because one day she will have to make the choice, on her own, whether to choose the flesh or to choose Jesus and His Spirit to guide her. I want to lead her in such a way that the choice will be clear and she will have no doubt that Jesus is The Way.
The verse above (Proverbs 22:6) gives me hope in this respect. It tells me that training her up in the ways of the Lord will not be in vain and will have a lasting effect. This verse also reminds me that she’s just starting to develop as her own little person, testing her limits, and growing from lessons learned the hard way. She is not old yet.
And even though we’re in the midst of the storm, I can already see some clouds parting. She’s starting to calm down a little more quickly when she loses control. There is often remorse after she has lashed out. Sometimes she even stops herself from getting all worked up.
So I do have hope that she will eventually stop screaming over every little thing. I have hope that she will be more obedient and less rebellious. I have hope that she will grow into a young lady who will choose to serve the Lord. I have hope that her passionate personality is a gift that will make her a strong witness for Jesus and a formidable opponent against the devil. I have hope that someday we will see Jesus together, having fought a good fight!
3 thoughts on “Hold On To Hope”
Hey 👋 thanks for writing this I’m going through a tough time with my sons at the moment. May God bless you abundantly
Thank you for reading and commenting. That encourages me to keep writing. Praying for you and your boys ❤️ Hang in there, mama!
Thanks so much I greatly appreciate your prayers x