One thing everyone knows about toddlers is that their moods can change. At any moment. Without warning. And a tantrum usually takes place at that moment.
We’re working with Asher to teach him self-control. When he starts to melt down, we have him put his nose in the corner until he calms down.
It’s hard to tell if Asher understands the concept of self-control. However, when we brought Eva Joy home from hospital after she was born, I got a glimpse into Asher’s little heart and saw that yes, he is starting to get it. Eva Joy had been crying. Asher looked at me, and with his two year-old vocabulary told me that Eva Joy needed to control her spirit and go in the corner! I gently explained to him that babies cry because it’s their only way to talk… but he’s learning about self-control!
How can we learn about self-control in our own lives? How often have I had a Mummy melt-down because of a frustrating child? Teaching my son to control his spirit has been a reminder to control my own! It’s a fine balance between not melting down for everything and embracing the good emotions, though. Every day I’m amazed at how God uses my children to sanctify me as I’m teaching them the same thing! If we want our children to learn self-control, we should use the same self-control in our everyday interactions with them.
Of course we’re not perfect. We’re going to mess up and melt down sometimes, but that’s where God’s grace comes in (and that’s an entirely different post). So for now we practice self-control in our home. And give each other grace when we mess up.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” Galatians 5:22-23a (ESV)