They’re Only Young Once

When our children do things that are annoying, one of the most helpful things to do (for the sake of achieving our much-desired-and-daily-needed self-control and for the sake of our children, since it’s not their fault for being the children that they are) is to remind ourselves that they are only young once.  If we keep trying so hard to make them grow up before it’s time, then we will be taking something from them that they will never be able to get back again: their childhood.  Yes, safety is first, so it’s important to have rules and expectations that support safety—both physical and emotional.  And yes, we are the parents, so it’s important to assume the role—even if we don’t feel like it (for example, if we just want to have a lazy day or if we don’t feel like giving the parental/positive direction that is only ours to give).  And yes, there is a place for teaching manners and proper decorum—in private and in public.  But let us also (and forever) remember that relationship matters as much as (if not more than at times, depending on what we’re talking about) being right, being in charge, or being approved of by others.  So when something about our parenting responsibilities (as they relate to our children) rubs us as annoying or irritating or frustrating, we can respond in our mind with something like this: “It’s a privilege and an honor to care for my kids, my spouse/co-parent, my family, and my home.”  Or this: “My kids are only young once, and I love caring for them during this time.”  Or this: “Kids will be kids!”  Whatever response helps you, use it as a go-to coping tactic to help you ride out the wave of whatever it is that may be annoying/irritating/frustrating at this present time.

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