Does it ever seem to you that there are times when you feel like you just can’t do anything right? And because you made a mistake that you’ll never be able to rise above it?
But how do we become an encouragement and mentor to our kids if we’re stuck on the things that they do, instead of the person they are to become?
Bell is having a lot of trouble in school right now. The odds are against her in a lot of ways.
She’s the youngest in her class.
She’s been bullied by other kids all her life because of her physical appearance.
She has a mind of her own. No, seriously, she’s as stubborn as a mule.
This past year, Bell has decided that if kids won’t like her, then she won’t like them. If she’s mean first, then they can’t hurt her feelings. She’s been giving her teacher a real run for her salary this school year…. And no one seems to know what to do with her.
Even I as her mother can’t see to find the right thing to say to her or discipline to demonstrate to her on how to break the barrier that she’s built around herself after all these years.
But deep down inside I know that Bell is more than the problems she creates.
Just like I know each and everyone of us is more than the problems we create.
Sometimes I think we create problems and don’t even know that we’ve birthed something that is terrible. It often takes a good friend or family member to point out to us that we have introduced a problem and it is shielding others from seeing who we truly are.
Nine times out of ten, people who are rude and do bad things were labeled as trouble makers as children.
Trouble makers = Problem creators
I’ve been working in the accounting field for almost fifteen years off and on around having children. For the past year or more I’ve been employed by a trucking company. I meet all kinds of interesting people working in the trucking industry. Over three fourths of the people I meet are truck drivers. They spend most of their days living in a truck going from one destination to the next. Some of them have families and some don’t.
The truckers with families often all have the same problem. They’re wives miss them. Their children wonder if they exists. Thus they have created a problem for themselves simply by making a living to support their families. For most of these truckers, it is who they are. The problem is for many of them that they can’t balance doing both.
Are they their problem? I don’t think so.
The problems we create shouldn’t label who we are.
I love words. After working with numbers all day, I find diving into words and writing to be a relaxing and de-stressing time for me after a long day. It’s also become a way for me to communicate with my family. My husband isn’t a trucker, but he works long hours. Sometimes writing a short email or a text message during the day is how we stay in touch with each other.
We live in a world that opens opportunities for us to solve the problems created by us. Truck drivers can call their wives, Skype from their trucks on down time with family, keep their schedules online and accessible to others for marking important dates.
Our children have more resources then ever floating around them in this digital age, but what they lack is the support and mentorship that they need to overcome their problems. I won’t expect any of my children to solve an Algebra problem if they first haven’t been taught how to perform mathematic functions. In this busy world, parents become so evolved in the world of careers that they forget that kids learn from what they see and what we teach them.
I for one will admit that I am guilty of this. I work all day with numbers. Then I come home, make supper, and then just want to relax with working on my next novel or reading a good book in between all the after school activities. It isn’t until it is bedtime and we rush to put on pajama’s and breeze through tuck in’s that I think I should have taken more time to solve the problem before it is created.
Over half the problems we create can be avoided.
People are not born trouble makers. Even though there are some mothers out there that will disagree with colicky babies. (Been there, did that too).
When we slow down, we can access a situation better and make wiser choices.
Offer to help someone else solve their problem.
We all have created different types of problems around ourselves. For some of us it is our jobs. For some it is our children. For some it is family members or fitting in with a certain group. Sometimes, when we help someone else peel away their armor we find our slipping away, too. When we aren’t moving as fast through the world not only can we see more clearly the problems we create, but they don’t seem to hold onto us as strongly as before.
Bell and I have a girls day out almost every Saturday. We run errands and grocery shop. Last weekend we went to the mall and I got to discover some things about what my daughter likes and what she doesn’t at this stage in her life. I’ve made it a point to try to spend more time with her. I’m praying that soon she’ll feel comfortable enough with who she is that she’ll let that barrier down and the problems will slip away.
I’m slowing down this week, taking time to resolve the problems that I’ve created and am encouraging you to do the same.
As you go through the remainder of this day, I hope you will remember that You are more than the problems you create.