In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Take a deep breath...
Some people write deep analysis of ways to parent effectively. But me, one of the best parenting skills I've got, is to just take a deep breath.
I've utilized this technique since my 3 sons were young. When they were in early elementary school and would get rambunctious and break a window or something in the house - I'd take a deep breath. Or when they'd get to punching one another and making a lot of loud noise - I'd take a deep breath. Those deep breaths helped me maintain control in the face of my own intense responses to their childish misbehavior.
Tonight I had an experience with my 17 year old son that shows me that this technique still works.
As we were all getting to the dinner table to sit down and share the meal, my 17 year old announces that he needs to make spending money (about a week ago he and I had a thoughtful money discussion which resulted in me increasing the amount of his allowance but letting him know that I would not give him any additional monies unless he completed special projects around the house to earn the money). He said he's come up with a plan that will bring in a phenomenal rate of return on investment, but that he will need some assistance from me. He asked if I would take $30 he'd give me and obtain Oxycodone so he could take them to school and easily sell them for more than four times the amount for which they were purchased. I retorted that this was called "pushing drugs" and that of course I would not do that; that Oxycodone is an opiate like morphine or heroine. He said that what with getting good grades and working toward a football scholarship, he doesn't have time for a part time job. Did I want him to just get a job and forget about good grades and sports?
I almost started to argue the point, but I realized that he was working to reel me in once again. This son has always been the biggest button pusher on the planet, and adores nothing more than getting me upset. So what did I do? I took a deep breath and continued to do so to refrain from speaking.
When he gave a repeat performance for my husband John as he was sitting down at the table, John just laughed at the absurdity. After dinner I had my 17 year old come over to the computer with me so we could google Oxycodone. He was amazed at what he learned. He'd thought I had been exaggerating when I'd told him it was an opiate, but when he saw the same information on Wikipedia, he believed. When we repeatedly read from several sources that respiratory problems as severe as death could be caused by an overdose of Oxycodone, he said that he didn't realize it had such serious side effects. The fact that Oxycodone produces "emotional blunting" gave rise to a great discussion about why a person would want to prevent themselves from experiencing emotions.
So what could have resulted in me once again rising to the bait of my teenager trying to get me agitated for his amusement, was prevented by the simple act of taking a deep breath.
What's a super simple parenting technique that you've found useful?
I'm just grateful to God for His goodness to me and want to live my life following after Him. I've been blessed with 3 awesome sons and in July of 2005 I remarried. My husband truly knows me and still loves me - how much more blessed could I be!
I'll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I've swallowed. I remember it all—oh, how well I remember— the feeling of hitting the bottom. But there's one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope: God's loyal love couldn't have run out, his merciful love couldn't have dried up. They're created new every morning. How great your faithfulness!
I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over). He's all I've got left. God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It's a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God. It's a good thing when you're young to stick it out through the hard times. When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don't ask questions: Wait for hope to appear. Don't run from trouble. Take it full-face. The "worst" is never the worst.
You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Perceptive words spread knowledge; fools are hollow—there's nothing to them. GOD can't stand pious poses, but he delights in genuine prayers. A life frittered away disgusts GOD; he loves those who run straight for the finish line.
So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover's life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.