Thoughts from a Grandma

Joey and Carla Link

May 10, 2023

Do you ever watch your kids yell at each other, refusing to share and provoking their siblings to anger, while you and your hubby are trying to sit down and relax at the end of a long day? Do you groan in defeat thinking you have failed at motherhood? If you answered yes, join the club. Speaking as a grandmother now, I can tell you that as long as you are working with your kids in these situations, they will turn out okay.

As it is a time to think about and celebrate motherhood, I thought I would share some of my best tips with you.

1.     The power of routine. I am not an organized or structured person by nature, so the idea of a routine makes me want to run in the opposite direction. The problem wasn’t the kids sticking to it, the problem was me. If you get and keep a good routine going, it will eliminate a lot of the misbehaving in your home.

When your kids are little, you manage the routine. When they get older, they manage the routine. When our girls were teens, sharing the bathroom became an issue. We had them decide who got the bathroom when and to post that where we could see it. When they argued after that, one of us would look at the routine and say “Amy is supposed to have the bathroom now!” The same worked for computer time and other things they had to share.

For younger kids, let’s look at the situation above. You know your kids aren’t going to get along unless they are supervised by one of you. If we needed down time, we would have told our daughters who liked to read to go to their rooms and read until bedtime and we would have told our son he could stay put as long as he was quiet. Keep the one who is the troublemaker near you and send the rest to separate places.

You can learn so much more about getting a routine in place for kids of all ages in the Mom’s Notes presentations, “Structuring Your Child’s Day, Pt. 1” and “Structuring Your Child’s Day, Pt. 2” We encourage you to get the notes/PDF for Pt. 2 as at the end I take a family of 4 and show how to blend their routines and activities into one routine that works for everyone in the family.

2.     Obedience training helps eliminate choas. You can let your kids grow up doing what they want to do when they want to do it with no consequence for anyone else. This by the way will produce one thing in your kids and that is entitlement. Entitlement is thinking you have the right to do what you want to do without earning that right or extending it to others. Entitled kids and adults are ruled by selfishness.

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 3:5-6

OR, you can train them to be obedient. When you train your kids, you tell them what you want them to do, like being kind, show them how to do it then turn it over to them and follow up with consequences or praise. Again, the main reason obedience training is ineffective is because you aren’t consistent with implementing it. Keep telling yourself you are stronger than your kids and press on!

3.     Encouragement. Encouraged kids know they are loved and have parents who support them and cheer them on, accepting failure when it comes. Your preteen gets moody while working on a project for school. How about taking him something to drink and a cookie and asking him how you can help. Often, just talking it over is all they need. Your 4 yr. old looks at all the toys on the floor and starts crying telling you he can’t get them picked up. You tell him to pick one thing, like his blocks and pick them up while you help him pick the rest up. This is encouragement – giving your child the courage he/she needs to get a job/task done.

“For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.’” Isaiah 41:13

Always ask your kids if you can pray with them, asking God for wisdom on whatever they are working on. Kids need to learn that nothing is too insignificant to talk to God about.