Slowly But Surely

Do you ever worry about how your child is going to turn out? They throw a tantrum, talk back or smack their sibling and all of a sudden you delve into all the parental concerns that can randomly flow through your head at any given moment....Are we doing something wrong? Should we be disciplining more? Or less? Do we show them we love them often enough? Do they have too many things? Are we being good examples? The list goes on and on....

But then there are those moments when you sit back and watch your child do something nice or kind or helpful without even being asked or prompted. And then the thoughts are different and more reassuring...They are going to be OK. We are doing a good job. Being consistent and firm is proving to be energy (and patience!) well spent. All the love and affection we show is rubbing off. My child is learning and growing and turning out to be a pretty great little person!

In the past little while I have had quite a few opportunities to think those thoughts about Piper, my 3 year old. Not that she has ever been a terrible child but she certainly has been a spirited, strong-willed little girl. She has kept us on our toes and there have been moments where I was 'Ready to sell her to the gypsies', as Mom would say! Instead, we have been calm, patient and consistent with her, trying to teach her self control and kindness and thoughtfulness...pretty much all of the qualities worth instilling in a child!

Here is what I am noticing about my little gal....

Piper is kind. I see this especially in her role as a big sister. She teaches Taitum things (some good, some more mischievous...), she helps her, hugs her, makes her laugh and is concerned for her little sister's well being. If I give her a drink, she is quick to inform me that Tait needs one too! She always wants to be the first one to greet Taitum in the morning. She encourages Tait to use her baby signs and when she does praises her profusely!

Piper is helpful. The other night Matt was hooking up my new printer for me and was under the desk plugging things in. Seeing this, Piper ran into her room and grabbed her night light that can turn into a flashlight and brought it out to him. "This help!", she said, and proceeded to crawl under the desk to help him out! She also has conquered the art of properly folding faceclothes so as soon as I bring up a load of clean towels she is right there beside me, folding away!

Piper is caring. I brought home a basil plant from the store the other day and set it on the kitchen table. Well, you would have thought I'd brought home a puppy! She pet the leaves, hugged the pot, asked every question she could think of about the plant. Now she reminds me on a daily basis that the plant needs to be watered! Her nurturing personality also comes through with things like her snake, a plastic toy she got at the dentist. After bringing it home, she put it in a bucket and carried it all around with her. I watched as she stopped to take it out and feed it and then put it back to bed. I have a little girl who loves to take care of things!

Piper is obedient. Although it has been a long haul, she is finally getting the hang of bedtime. When it is time, she tromps off to the bathroom to pee and brush her teeth. Then she puts her own pj's on and crawls into bed. We're getting to the point now where there is rarely a problem with this routine. She knows the rules and has slowly but surely learned to abide by them. Another example is when she takes a toy from Tait. I generally only have to ask once for her to return the item, even if it is one of her special toys that little sis has got her hands on.

There are many other positive things I am seeing in my daughter's life that are giving me so much joy. On a daily basis she amazes me and makes me so proud to be her Mama! But my point in all this is not just to brag my girl up but to encourage fellow parents who are going through some of the hard times of parenthood! The time and energy you are putting into raising your child and teaching them right and wrong and instilling in them a good character is worth it!

Above all pray for them and for you! By the grace of God, they WILL be just fine!

"Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." Romans 12:11

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Stephanie M. Page said...

Precious pictures and encouragement!! As parents we can beat ourselves up. Keeps me dependent on Jesus!

Gina said...

You're right Stephanie! All of our efforts are pointless if they are not powered by the Gospel. I don't just desire my kids to be 'good' kids - I want them to be kids who love Jesus and follow Him! I think its so important to care about and deal with their heart before the outward behaviour!

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