I am a few weeks in to the Orange Rhino challenge and can I say-
I am FAILING miserably.
My grandma said her rule when the kids were little was to go check on them every 15 minutes. And I realized that I don’t do that. I get caught up and busy with things (the computer) or cleaning and I leave them to their own. They are quiet, so I assume they are being good. After all, dinner is cooking- they have not had a bath yet and we have church tonight and 1 hour to get ready to go, eat dinner and be on time.
And then I see the mess they made.
And I get angry.
I set a timer and give them 10 minutes to clean up the mess they made, check dinner, sit down to nurse the baby again. And I check on them as the timer goes off.
And then I go off- 10 minutes and the ONLY THING they put away was ONE.TOY. ONE.LITTLE.TOY
So I get mad and put them in time out. Then I think better of it and grab their arms, pulling them back to their room, telling them they had better finish cleaning. I am beyond mad now and I am yelling these instructions at them- hoping that they get it this time. And I stomp off- away from the crying girls in the room.
I hear the 6 year old sob” mama’s yelling scared me” and the 3 year old echos back “me too”
Then I hear them squabble. “Pick that up or you’re not going to Grandmas either!” “Yes I AM!!!” Now they are yelling at each other.
My actions have dictated they way my daughters are speaking to each other. And I can not take the yelling back. I can not take back telling them that they made me so angry and disappointed me.
All I can do today is breathe and pray. Ask God to allow His peace to wash over me.
There is power of life and death in the tongue.
And today, I allowed my emotions to get the best of me.
Instead of encouraging my kids to clean their room- or turn it into a game, I injured their heart with my harsh words and temper.
Scaring my children with my voice does nothing to build them up.
It does not provide security in their lives. It only makes them leery of me. Where can my kids go when they are lost if not to me or my husband? But if I am not building up that trust and open communication now, I am only building a gap that will be evident in their early teen years. If I can’t get a handle on my yelling now, I will only be worse when they are old enough to yell back.
So today, I have to take the challenge a bit more serious. If that means wearing orange every day and posting scripture about holding my tongue on my forehead so I see it every time I am in the mirror- then so be it. My kids are too valuable to be yelled at. They are still growing and I have to guard their hearts.
For now, I ask God to forgive me, to help me, to change me.
For now, I ask my girls to forgive me. Tell them I love them and help them clean their room with a smile.