How do you reason with these little people? I feel as though I have tried every trick in the book, every form of punishment, every way to possibly get through to him, and I am left with the same defiant preschooler on my hands. He balks in the face of consistency and challenges the author of every parenting book ever written! His stone cold determination to not bend to my requests puts even the best politician to shame!
Frustration aside, I know he was overdue for his nap and hates abrupt change. How then do you draw the line between just acting out from being tired and blatantly acting out in ways he clearly knows better than? On the one hand I take comfort in the fact that he will not be a child (or teen) who easily bends to pressures (a born leader) but on the other hand I am faced with the incredibly challenging dilemma of being in charge of shaping the mind, will and heart of a child who, at times, is seemingly made of iron.
In general he is a good boy. It is just these everyday challenges that I know I can't let him win, the battles that I know will mold his ideas on respecting authority and therefore must be won so that we are not waging the same battle when he is 8, or 11, or 15- these are what currently suck the life out of me!
He finally collapsed into bed for his much needed nap and I ran for the hidden bag of chocolate in my kitchen. Now I am faced with the fact that this particular battle is sadly long from over. Tonight will be one of those nights that he does have daddy to deal with (thank the Lord for cell phones! "Honey, you hear that? Yes, it really is that bad!). Yet as he sullenly follows his father into the office for his due punishment, I know that my heart will break. Perhaps it isn't easy being three and learning these life lessons. I know I am not a huge fan of the lessons my heavenly Father is seemingly constantly doling out for me, but they are no less important or essential.
Please pour out your grace on my little family tonight. Help us all to have the hearts to do Your will and not our own. Help us to learn from discipline and walk away changed. Help us to have self-discipline so we can stop repeating these lessons! Thank you for your kindness and compassion and please help us be more like You!
So be it!