I really wish I would follow my own advice. I really can be quite wise. I have stores of God’s truth and great teaching to draw from. However… lately I don’t realize it until I hear myself telling someone else. Frustrating!
Frustration is far too common an emotion for me, especially recently. We have had some big changes and losses this year as a family. Dealing with hard things in relationship is my largest weakness I think.
My son and I often clash. This leads to frustration between us and toward ourselves. He is so much like me in his self talk. It really makes me wish I had done so much more growing before he was born, yet often I fail to do the work to grow now. More frustration. I have grown. I’m nowhere near where I want to be, but I have grown. Trouble is I can’t pinpoint what changed things for me. I can’t give my son the “fix” for his hurting heart. More frustration. Worse yet, sometimes I’m still doing exactly the same thing! FRUSTRATION!
I know that living out my growth in front of him will be most helpful. He has to know how to turn to God – no, to abide in God. He will learn it best by seeing it lived out. So I will continue to learn to abide and to grow.
Yesterday I was looking at a personality profile for some reminders on what my son needs. I remembered thinking there was helpful information for my parenting when I had taken it a couple of years ago. One of the charts shows typical irritations for each personality type. Sources of irritation for my son include: indecisiveness, lack of - discipline, plan, purpose, direction, authority, control, and challenge (this list describes my typical day if I’m not really on top of it!) Sources of irritation for me: incompetence, disorganization, foolishness, dishonesty, inaccuracy, wastefulness, inconsistency, false impressions (the things on this list I don’t do, he does) No wonder I’m frustrated. I do most of the things on my list of irritations! If you’ll look at the list you see that means I do most of the things on his list, too!
His responses to pressure are also like hair triggers for me and mine for him. It’s helpful just to know, or be reminded. I realized when he was very young that God was going to use my son to shape me into who he wants me to be, who I need to be to fulfill my destiny. I lost sight of that though. All I was seeing was the conflict, the hurt, the suffering relationship. I’m not sure how to keep my focus, but I will learn. I have to. My relationship with my son may not survive and certainly won’t thrive if I do not. Neither of us would be who God designed for us to be. He will strengthen me and I will soften him. Soften not crush.
Everyone needs tools to be successful, even in relationships. My tool box is far too empty. Even the good tools I’ve picked up over the years have been going unused. My children will only know how to use the tools I use. Lately that’s been yelling, ignoring and talking too much. So it’s time to go tool shopping. As I discover new tools or rediscover old ones I’ll share them here and I hope you will do the same.
What relational tools do you use?
What tools do you wish you knew how to use better?
Is there a need in a relationship you need a new tool for?
Personality information taken from Uniquely You Resources www.myuy.com