What is the saying? If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!
Children are astonishingly perceptive. Have you ever noticed that the times that you are the most agitated—the times you’d really appreciate it if your children could just get along!—are the times that your children start to fight?
It’s frustrating! But it also makes sense. In many cases, your children mirror you. If you’re agitated, they’ll be agitated. If you’re happy, they’ll be happy. (This is true in my marriage, too. If I am grumpy, it’s hard for my husband to be upbeat in the face of my sourness.)
This is not to say that you need some ideal form of tranquility of mind and gladness of heart before you can deal with your children’s behavior. No. You are a person as well, and are free to experience the full range of emotions. Even if you are in a hard season yourself, know that you are still able to deal with your children’s behavior as soon as you notice it’s an issue. You are still able to adjust them, lead them, even if you don’t feel like you have it all together.
But do recognize that if your family is in a time of transition and stress, your children will probably act out more. If you’re grieving, your children probably will pick up on that, too. If you’re dissatisfied, expect some complaining from them.
And recognize that: if it’s hard, it might get harder. Then give that to God, ask for the attitude of Christ, and go forward in newness of life.
If you are in a season of peace, rejoice and be glad for the chance to enjoy one another.
John and Sarita's oldest daughter
Homeschooling mom to five
P.S. Please don’t underestimate the strain of things beyond your control. Loss of jobs, deaths in the family, depression . . . these are not small things. There is grace for you. You are not required to be “perfect” or perfectly together for your children. God will hold you together, even in the difficult seasons.
Do these seasons affect your children? Yes. But God is holding them together, too.