Saturday, April 27, 2013

Whining

I tell my son to go put on his socks and shoes so we can leave.  Ten minutes later he is still barefoot.  I ask, "Why don't you have your shoes on?  We need to leave!"
Wait, did I hear how that came out of my mouth?  I didn't ask...I whined.
Drat.  Now I hear myself whine at my kids.  All. The. Time.
"Don't put the toys in your mooouuuth!"
"Whyyy is it taking so long to wash your hands?"
"Sit down while you're eating!"
"Are you allowed to hit?"
All of these things I say with a whine in my voice.  I was horrified when I heard myself and couldn't stop talking.  No wonder my kids whine - whine at them!
I also figured out when I whine at my kids.  When I'm weary, when I'm physically exhausted, when I'm spiritually drained, at the end of the day when I'm trying to cook and they are going crazy.
How do I fix this?  Well, first off, I can only change inside with God's help.  So, I pause and ask for His help.  I take a few deep breaths and calm myself down.  Then, I think to myself, I am the adult here, I am capable of controlling my own emotions no matter how out of control my kids' emotions are.  And, then, if I need to, I apologize to my kids.  Yeah, that's real humbling, and I don't really want to do it, but I think it is important to apologize if I am in the wrong because I am the first example of Christ that my children see.
Do you whine at your kids?  Do you cajole them into doing something?  Does your impatience come out in your voice and actions?  Next time you hear your voice starting to sound ungracious, I challenge you (and myself) to Stop, Look, and Listen.  Stop talking, Look to Jesus for help, and Listen to his voice in your heart helping your voice change.