My son is fiercely emotional and passionate. He is sensitive but he is also quite aware of other’s feelings. While these personality traits are not always easy to manage at the age of 4, I do hope these are traits that he will carry throughout his life.
Parenting a strong willed and emotional child does not come without its challenges. A lot of these big emotions often turn into outbursts and meltdowns. And believe me, we have had our fair share of them.
On the hard days, I often wonder if I had a different parenting style if he would be an “easier child”. Or not as sensitive or emotional. But then I remember that my son is exactly the way God intended him to be. Strong emotions and all.
Still, there are many days that I question if I’m doing things right as a parent. Do I spoil him too much? Am I consistent enough? Do I yell too much? Am I not strict enough? Is he getting enough sleep? Is he watching too much TV? And the list goes on and on.
But every now and then your child does something that reminds you that you must be doing something right. And in turn, teaches you, the parent, a surprising life lesson.
A few weeks ago at school Noah was hit in the face with a toy car by one of his classmates (Don’t worry, he is totally fine, but it did leave a small cut on his forehead). Boys will be boys, and by no means do I think my child was completely innocent in this situation. We all know that boys can be rough with one another, and I am sure they were fighting over the same toy car. Not surprising, right? Situations like these are not all that uncommon in the world of toddlers and preschoolers. This age group is often impulsive and emotional. Especially when it comes to their belongings.
But I certainly was not expecting what happened next.
At some point later in the school day, Noah asked his teacher if he could draw a picture for his classmate. He drew both himself as well as the other child who hit him and then drew a heart in between them. After he was finished, he asked his teacher to write “I love you” on the bottom of the drawing. His teachers later told me that the forgiveness that Noah showed towards his classmate made them both tear up.
When I went to pick Noah up from school that afternoon his teachers told me he handled the whole situation very well. After hearing about the maturity that Noah showed in this moment, I was completely stunned. Something I did not expect from my very emotional and sensitive little boy. No one told him to draw that picture for his classmate. He did it out of the goodness of his heart. At 4 years old. While Noah has always been good about showing kindness towards others, I didn’t know he was capable of showing such grace and forgiveness.
I went home later that evening and spent some time really thinking about what happened earlier that day. And then it hit me. This is a lesson in forgiveness and grace for all of us. But most of all, grace towards ourselves. We, as mamas, all make mistakes and none of us are perfect, but God’s grace is always there. Something I am learning over and over in my 4 short years as a parent.
His grace is there on the days when we let them watch their favorite movie for the 3rd time in a row because we just need some time to ourselves. His grace is there when we lose our cool after the fifth time of cleaning up spilled milk on the floor. His grace is there when we don’t feel like cooking a homemade meal and decide to throw a frozen waffle in the toaster instead. His grace is there on the hard days. The good days. And the ugly days.
So, cut yourself a break, mama. We are all doing the best we can to raise honest, kind, compassionate children. And on the hard parenting days, when all else fails, remember that His grace is enough.
So thankful for this little human I am raising and for the lessons He is teaching me through him.
Grace upon grace, friends.