It happens from time to time. It’s becoming more common as my children grow older, and begin to express personal desires and opinions. We’re getting ready to walk out the door and someone announces they are no longer interested in participating in our planned activity. No reason, no rhyme. Only a curt, “I just don’t want to!” What’s a mom to do?
I’ll be honest, these situations are hard for me. I dislike changes in plans as it is. Then we heap on a desire to not participate? This is not good! Before the problem escalates, I need to pray for wisdom and then ask myself the following questions:
What is really going on? Who knows what’s going on in their heads? I don’t! And I won’t until I ask. This might be rebellion or simply a genuine lack of interest. Before I can determine a course of action, I need to communicate with my children and seek out truth.
What’s the most important thing? Yes, the field trip would be fun, but is it worth the kicking and screaming to get out the door? On the other hand, while it might be easier to not make my children get out of bed, we understand church is non-negotiable and like-minded fellowship is vital. Each situation will be different, but the end goal the same. We ask the Lord what is most important and act upon it.
Is there a lesson to be learned? Whether by me, or my child, perhaps the Lord has something to show us. Maybe I need to learn how to pick my battles. Perhaps my child needs to learn the disadvantage and consequence of missing out, or the benefit of being made to participate. First, I need to identify the lesson and then move forward.
While I’m never excited to hear my children announce they suddenly do not wish to participate, I’m learning to no longer take these decisions personally. Often these circumstances are opportunities for growth and lessons we all needed to learn. Through the Lord’s leading I am learning to listen, understand, and lead my children with grace. It’s not always easy, but it’s well worth the effort.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:”
~ Ecclesiastes 3:1
Your Turn!: One of your several children adamantly decides they do not wish to participate in a given outside activity, how would you handle this situation when both parents had planned on attending and no babysitter is available?