We are extremely lucky to be the beneficiaries of an awesome little boy’s (with incredible fashion sense) clothes he’s grown too big to wear. Every season, we get a box full of shoes, socks, shirt, hats and pants and we all stand around like it’s Christmas morning and pull those precious clothes out of the box. My three-year-old was ecstatic over all the different clothes and preceded to want to try on everything.
When he woke up on Sunday morning, he had a very different opinion about what he would wear than I did. I had picked out a rockin’ button down along with a great pair of skinny jeans. Cody decided that he was going to wear the Grinch hoodie along with a pair of fox houseshoes.
Cue the chaos.
After much “fighting” this momma conquered and won, and we as a family (plus one upset little boy) hopped into the car and made our way to church.
Then, fast forward to me standing in a room that morning teaching a parenting class that was titled, “Fight for the Heart” - knowing the difference between fighting with our children and fighting for our children. As I’m going through my spiel, it strikes as what a hypocrite I am.
God’s funny like that…we’re teaching something to others as He’s gently tapping us on the shoulder saying, “Hey, you need to hear and know this, too.”
I had a chance that morning to fight for the heart of my child, but instead, I chose to “win” the argument with him. Are there times our kids need to do what we say? Absolutely! But, are there times we as parents need to concede because, in the long run, it’s just not worth it?
For me, this was one of those times where I knew he wanted to wear these clothes because he was truly excited and very proud of them. What would it have cost me to let him wear that outfit? Judgment from other parents? Maybe. My reasons for not letting him wear his outfit were more about me and my good than it was for his good.
I want to be a parent who champions my kids in who they are, who God created them to be. As a parent, I’ve got to look at the situations I come across with my kids and ask myself, “Is this the battle I really want to fight?”
There’s another battle going on for his heart, and an enemy who will “fight” to win his heart, too. He’ll use methods that I as a parent should have been using all along. One day when he’s older he’ll tell my son how he’ll accept and love him just as he was made, and my son will have to weigh the enemy’s words with my words and see if they match. If he sees a mom who didn't let his personality shine through and instead forced a behavior and rules, he may come to the conclusion I’m not a safe place where he is loved and treasured, and just maybe this enemy knows his stuff.
Let’s pick our battles wisely and fight for the things that matter - our kid’s heart. What are some “battles” you need to stop fighting with your kids?
*For more information on fighting for your kid's heart, grab a copy of Parenting Beyond Your Capacity!