Writing a book about parenting made me look into a mirror and reflect on where I had been and where I came from and why. It made me remember why I had children in the first place. It made me remember how I first loved them, how every morning was like Christmas. It made me remember how I looked forward to each day. I remembered that when they were little, their little disobedience was so fun and so cute. Their orneriness was to be celebrated. They were little rascals, and they were the most darling things ever. Then something switches when kids become teenagers. All of a sudden, it’s not darling anymore. It’s ugly. It’s an opportunity for strife and war.
Writing the parenting book made me reflect on myself and how my heart had changed from when they were little children—how I had celebrated them, loving and hugging them—to being an older mother with older children. All of a sudden, I didn’t look forward to seeing them because we were having problems and personality issues.
I realized that this is not the mom I want to be. The mom I want to be is the one who wakes up every day and cannot wait to see her children, to hug and love them. I don’t want to be a mom who takes her children for granted. I want to appreciate everything about them. When I was writing the book, I truly reflected on my heart and how my heart had changed over the course of time and how my expectations had changed.
Truly, you shouldn’t celebrate an ornery spirit when children are little and then reprimand it when they are older. Realistically, you are not going to get the results you want that way. You have to train them up in the way that they should go. It should be the same when they are little as when they are older. Their brains are continually developing habits and patterns. They are going to continue the behavior they once had when they were little now that they are older. You cannot expect them to be different overnight. It takes retraining of the brain and those neural pathways, according to Caroline Leaf in her Switch On Your Brain book.