Spank Them All Soundly and Send Them To Bed?

Apr 13, 2000

Do you ever feel like Old Mother Hubbard with so many children you don't know what to do? Occasionally, that happens to most of us. The question is, what are you going to do about it?

Picture the following scenario.

You have awakened with a blazing headache; or, perhaps you slept poorly and just generally don't feel well. To make matters worse, you have friends coming over for supper that evening.

Your little angels are going to realize you aren't feeling "up to snuff" and do everything they can to help you, aren't they? WRONG!

Most children seem to have an uncanny knowledge of when Mommy is feeling her worst. This is the signal for them to be at their worst behavior.

It is three o'clock in the afternoon. It is raining outside. You have picked up the clutter in the house at least ten times. The children are delighting in messing things up as soon as it has been cleaned. When you instruct them to pick up their toys, clean their room rooms, the oldest one yells at you: "Why do I have to do it. Bobby is the one who messed it up. It's just not fair! (Of course, three fourths of the stuff laying around is his and not Bobby's.)You always pick on me!"

The third son comes dashing through the house clutching the second boys favorite new toy tightly under his arm. Number two is in hot pursuit. Both of them are screaming bloody murder.

Oh No! Your fourth child, who is a toddler has had diarrhea, removed his soiled training pants and flung them against the wall, where they have stuck for a moment and then slid down, leaving a trail behind them. He comes to you naked,with a big smile, saying, "I pooped, Mommy". The baby is crawling around at your feet, whining for you to pick her up.

Company will be there in three hours and you haven't even put the meat out to thaw! You still have your headache.

Have you ever had a day like that? No? Count your blessings! Many mothers have.

You have reasoned with them, pleaded with them threatened them. They have all had multiple "Time Outs". You have even spanked them. Nothing seems to work. Try this.

Have them sit in a circle on the floor with you. The baby may sit on your lap. All of you hold hands. Then in a calm voice, pray for them and yourself. Mention each child by name, telling God why you love him and are thankful he was born. Praise something he has done well or some trait that is endearing to you. Ask God to help each child be on his best behavior and ask for yourself to have patience in dealing with them. As you pour your heart out to God, you may feel a peacefulness come to you. When you are finished, give each of them a big hug.

This is certainly worth trying and (who knows?) it could work! Perhaps, the children may then act a little better, or maybe you will just be better able to cope with things, which also encourages better behavior.

Take heart in knowing that your children really aren't the little monsters they are behaving like. They will grow up to be fine adults, not juvenile delinquents. All of us have really bad days. It is how we react to them that counts. Continue to be firm and loving with your little ones. Eventually, all will turn out well. God bless you.

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