Grace (Again)

It might be the weather.  It may be our ages around here (puberty.  the end).  It could just be me (I can never rule this out).  But whatever the cause, we’re in a communication swamp at our house these days.  I find that I say the same things over and over to my kids, in the same, um, strident tone, and I get the same results–languid compliance with a dash of resentment.  I see it in my kids’ eyes.  They are tired of my reactions to their reactions.  I’m sure that they can see it in my eyes, too.  I’m tired of the push-back I receive when I ask them to do things they’ve always done.

The thing is, it feels like a full-on cycle at this point.  I say, Get such-and-such done.  Somebody whines and moves s-l-o-w-l-y to get the aforementioned thing done, all the while muttering about why the task is meaningless.  I take a deep breath, feeling my heart begin to race, muttering to my own self that this kind of flak is for the birds and I don’t deserve it.  Then I say, in a scarily-calm librarian voice, that I expect compliance because this is right, that it has always been this way in our home, that I will not put up with disrespect, that I don’t give them that much to do, that this is ridiculous, that I am going to tell their father about this, etc, etc.  When I pause, feeling my heartbeat (now in my eyeballs), I see the withdrawal, the retreat, in my kids’ faces.  I see their squinting, their down-turned mouths.  I am sad suddenly, sad and tired.  I feel tricked by my own emotions–again.

This communication quicksand has got to dry up.  We love each other, and we’ve got to find a way to move through this new phase of life/parenting/growing.  Right now we’re in a flare/remission cycle where every other conversation has the potential to cause an outbreak of hives.  There’s got to be a better way to go through middle school.  But I can’t think of exactly what to do at the moment.

What I do know is, as usual, we all need grace.  Every moment of every day.  And He gives it.

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10 thoughts on “Grace (Again)

  1. Good luck! I’m somewhat there with mine (11 and 16). So many times I sit there and think (or sometimes SAY) “How MANY times am I going to have to tell you to do this?!?” Keep breathing and try to smile!

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    • I know. I’m trying to focus on what I can do to not get angry. Anger is just toxic in the end and it builds up until we can’t really have a normal conversation…

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  2. Tina says:

    What really helps is when I remember to “be SLOW TO SPEAK”. It seems the more I talk trying to explain/reason the more heated things become. I need to remain calm, restate the rule, and say we will discuss this later when we are all more calm. Not saying that’s what happens, but that’s what NEEDS to happen.

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  3. Oh so us at times! I had a season like that a while ago! I’m also being reminded that what I want them to do (or ask them to do) are habits I want them to pick up. That these habits take time, takes lots of reminders, lots of forgetting before ending up in good fruit. I don’t always remember that though!

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