Purposeful Prayer

Everybody prays a little differently. Some set aside private prayer time each day and keep a running list of prayers and praises. Others pray when and where they see a need. Still others don't put much thought and effort into prayer. Regardless of how you pray, prayer is purposeful.

For today (and the coming weeks...and probably months), one of the prayers at the top of my list will be guidance with Abby. I truly need guidance from the Lord. Abby is a strong-willed child, wonderful, but strong-willed. I need guidance to choose the right words and actions when Abby is concerned.

With all the recent changes in our lives, she and I seem to be out-of-sync. It would be easy to find someone or something to blame, but I just can't. I don't think it's anyone's fault. Discipline has always been a challenge for me with Abby. She's very independent and refuses to acknowledge that she is wrong. (You can stop laughing now.) Yeah, we all know where she gets that from. She also likes to have the last word. (Again, you can stop laughing.) I just need to find a better way to communicate with her so things go more smoothly for everyone involved.

Bless Mike's heart, he has to listen to the two of us everyday. I can't imagine how frustrating it must be. From this morning:

Me - "Abby, you need to pick out pants, a long sleeve shirt and an undershirt for today."
Abby - "I want to wear the green pants from Sophie."
Me - "I told you yesterday, nothing in the bag from Sophie fits right now. You need to choose something from your drawers. When the new clothes fit, I will move them into your drawers."
Abby - "NO. I WANT TO WEAR THE GREEN PANTS. AND THE YELLOW SWEATER." She yells this at me, while semi-crying.
Me - "Abs, you can't wear clothes to school that don't fit. Please pick out clothes by the time I count to five or I will pick the clothes for you. 1--2--3--4--5." Seriously, I counted pretty slow, but no action on her part.
Abby - "NO!" Screaming.
Me - "Here are your clothes for today. Please put them on."
Abby - "No. I want to wear the green pants." Crying, sniffling, sounding absolutely pitiful.
Mike - "Abby, you need to put your clothes on. Mom helped pick some cute clothes for today. Look, everything matches and you will look very pretty. Please come here and put your clothes on."

Once the clothes drama was over, I asked Abby to come brush her teeth. I got a look, but she walked reluctantly into the bathroom. We were in a hurry at this point and I wanted to brush her teeth myself. For whatever reason, I didn't tell her I would brush her teeth. Instead, I asked her if I could help her brush her teeth this morning. She thought for a moment and agreed. I think the Lord was guiding me at that moment, because it was completely out of character for me. Normally, I just tell her I'm going to ___ (brush her teeth, brush her hair, etc).

I just need to keep my heart and mind open and listen more carefully to Him. Hopefully, that will help me to be a more effective parent (and keep my sanity).

1 comment:

mell said...

Stating the obvious here...she doesn't like being told or dictated to. offering help--giving her the option to choose--seemed to work (from your story)...

try to remember, she's you in miniature and is too young to comprehend adult logic (i.e. clothes don't fit so you can't wear them). both of you like control, so until one of you "gives up" that control, things may remain stressful.

hope my 2 cents can help.

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