Last night I had a “come to Jesus” meeting with my kids. It was a bad day. We had gone to Good News Club after school where I am a leader. I was leading music and Brielle decided that song time, while standing in the front row of about 50 adults and children, would be a good time to shout potty-mouth words like fart and poop. No explicable reason why she thought this was ok. I mouthed to her to stop several time, while I am leading the music for everyone, singing, and doing the motions. She wouldn’t stop. I had to walk over and remove her from the front row and take her to a corner for time out. I did it swiftly and without drama, but it was completely embarrassing for me. She didn’t seem to even care. Maybe she missed me after school and was looking for attention so she used negative attention. ????♀️ Maybe she thought it was funny and would get kids to laugh. Either way it was not good.
My twins continued to run circles around the gym, while shouting and yelling during music time. There wasn’t much I could do. I am the only adult who leads music, so I have to keep singing and doing the motions, while smiling and trying to engage all the kids who do want to be there. I was not happy with my three kids and their actions. Especially since two weeks prior they all acted terribly and we had a sit down talk about it. Including a long time out for Brielle that night. It was so bad two weeks ago that one of the other moms who volunteers came and gave me a hug and said “it is terrible when one of our kids acts out, but when it’s all of them together acting terribly you just want to lose it”. She hugged me and said it was ok. We finished Good News Club that night and I wanted to go home and cry. Or scream. Instead, Brielle was sent to her room after school that day and even had dinner in her room. She wasn’t allowed to come down until it was time to get ready for bed. We had a long talk about behavior at Good News Club. She seemed to understand the importance of her behaviors that night and things got better for about two weeks. Last night was not good though. It took a turn for the worse.
After Good News Club we headed to an event for our friends the Perez Family. Their daughter wrote a book called Super Kid, which I shared about on the blog previously. Brielle was going to participate in a dance video for a song that was written based on the book. We had prepared for this event, she learned the dance, and she was ready in her cheer outfit (cheerleaders were a big part of this video and they all wore their cute cheer outfits). My kids and I had a conversation during that 10 minute drive about how they were going to behave and listen at the event. Alex said numerous times “I will be good, I promise”. We even went over what it looks like being good; listening to the adults , not running around, not shouting or yelling. As soon as we got into the building the discussion was out of their minds. They began running around the gym, up onto the school stage (big no-no), yelling, screaming, and jumping on the P.E. Class trampolines (also a big no-no). It was like wrangling monkies. I was trying to sign us in for the event and figure out where Brielle needed to be. Every time I got the kids back to my side, the second I spoke to someone or turned my attention away from the kids they took off running. Yes, it’s kids being kids, but there also times when they need to be patient, calm, and listen to adults (especially their mom). We didn’t last but 10 minutes at the event. I warned them twice that if they went off running again we would have to leave. I was good on my word. We left. I knew my kids weren’t listening to me, so they were not going to listen to other adults and follow directions for this event. They definitely would have been disruptive to the the event and the making of the video. I thought about taking the twins home and leaving Brielle with one of the moms there, so she could participate. However, she was the ring leader of this circus of chaos.
My kids were in shock that we had to leave. They knew how important this event was and they didn’t believe I would actually leave. I did. And I was not happy about it. I didn’t yell and scream, but I did speak firmly. Then came the consequences. As soon as we got home all three kids were sent to their rooms. They stayed there for an hour and half. Brielle sulked and then played with some toys. Alex played calmly on his own on his bed. Charlie fell asleep.
After their time in their rooms, which gave me some time to recover and calm down, we talked consequences. Brielle’s worst fear is to have to wear play clothes to school. Guess what? Today she is wearing play clothes to school. She likes her play clothes, but only after school around the house or while we are camping. For school she likes to wear dresses, bows, and jewelry everyday. Today she wore none of that. She acted so devestrated over it that she negotiated all of her birthday presents. I was dumbstuck. I said “you would really give up all your birthday gifts so that you don’t have to wear play clothes to school?” Yes, she was adamant about it. So we compromised. We bagged up all her presents and they are now in my locked closet. She only had to wear half play clothes. The Levi’s jeans aren’t part of her play clothes wardrobe. She wore those with a t-shirt and basic headband. No dress, no hair bows, no jewelry. She will get opportunities to earn back her gifts. I know she will work to earn those gifts back because she understood how serious I was about her behavior in public.
I was sad last night and gave myself my own pity party. I asked God why I was given such unruly and naughty kids. I have worked with kids for years and never babysit or nannied kids that were this challenging. I know their hearts and know they are good, sweet, loving kids, but they also have a sin nature that can come on strong and fierce.
God spoke to my heart last night and said “how can you encourage and help other moms if you don’t understand their struggles?” My kids aren’t perfect, nor am I. Together we are a work in progress and we need Jesus. Every. Single. Day.
God is all about helping us. When we get discouraged or feel defeated we need to turn to God. Scripture and prayer can help us through. On the way to school today instead of me praying for the kids and their day, as I usually do, Brielle prayed aloud. She asked God to help her with her behavior. We then talked about how Jesus can help us in those moments when we feel temped to misbehave and act out. Jesus is there for our kids, and for us too. All we have to do is open our hearts and mouths and ask for His help and guidance.
You may be wondering where my husband was in all of this chaos? Sick. He had to go to the ER for an infection earlier in the day. He spent most of his day in bed trying to get better.
This morning before they were all sent off to school I made sure that they knew, although I was disappointed, I would always love them and I would always be there for them.