I came home from work recently to a very unhappy mother. She didn’t have to say a word. You moms know exactly what I mean when I say this; she had “the look.” Let me rewind to earlier in the day. I received a phone call regarding my darling children who were being anything but darling. I had mom put two of them on the phone. Needless to say, we had a talk. I thought this was it. I thought my talk with them would work. I apparently thought wrong.
Enter scene. I got home and I could tell something was wrong. The kids were all running around, but mom was not happy. You could tell that she was beyond exhausted. I gave it a little bit. I watched what was going on. I took the two girls I had talked to into the back room and sat them down. I asked two questions –
Why is your mom upset and why did you do it?
Needless to say, they were speechless for a moment. I followed up with the thing that strikes fear into every child; “Your mother did not tell me what you did, however, I know already what you did.” I expressed my disappointment in them. They had lied to me and I didn’t make light of it. They had said that they were going to do as they were asked and that they would help their mom out.
For a half hour, we had a conversation as a family on what it means to be a family and why we expect them to obey. Honestly, it was hard. I didn’t want to have to discipline them. I had to follow through with our conversation from earlier in the day. They needed to understand why we, as parents, have to correct behaviors and why we needed to work together to make our house run.
Did they enjoy it? No. I did not belittle them. As a matter of fact, I expect them to act as if they were at school or someone else’s house. Will they fail again? You can count on it. They aren’t perfect. We aren’t either. That’s the thing, they know we aren’t perfect. No parent is. Our children aren’t going to do every single thing right. They will know that they can mess up and that their parents love them unconditionally.
We are not their best friend. We are entrusted to raise them to be productive, responsible, well-rounded adults. We aren’t raising children. We are raising adults. I know, I will get some flack for it. That’s okay. I am not going to stand before a man at the end of the day. I am going to stand before God.
Did they learn? I hope so. Of course, they seem to whenever it is done right away. The true test comes later. My prayer is that they will. My prayer is that these young women will be fierce lovers of God and grow to be mighty women in the world.