I can tell it's almost time for my girls to go back to school. Yesterday, my girls couldn't be in the same room without picking at each other. Broken Silly Bands, losing at a board game and stubbing a toe all required lengthy crying sessions and more drama than any one household should have in a day. The girls are tired and they're ready to see their friends.
While I will miss them when they go back to school next week, it will be a relief to stop sounding like a broken record. I don't know how many times this summer I've said things like "Clean up your room," "Stop touching your sister," "If you don't do your chores, we can't go swimming." Do you ever feel like your kids can't hear you? I sometimes wonder if when I speak I sound like the teacher on the Charlie Brown TV specials to my kids.
It's easy to get discouraged when we think we've done a great job offering up an object lesson or a deep conversation about God and our kids don't seem to "get it." Don't be discouraged. Just come up with another way to get the point across at a different time. The more our kids see and hear us talking about important Biblical truths with them, the more it will sink in. They may not understand it the first time, but by the third or fourth time, it will start to make an impact on their hearts. Isaiah 55:10-11 says "As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." Any time we speak God's word to our children, it is never wasted. God tells us it will achieve the purpose for which He sent it.
Remember that all children are different. God made each child to fill a special purpose in His plan. They don't all think alike, so it may take different strategies to reach each of your kids. I know that in my house, my girls are completely different in how they solve problems. If I tell my older daughter to go clean her room, she goes and does it. If I tell my younger daughter to go clean her room, she walks in the door, looks at the mess and starts saying, "There's too much. I need help." Where my older daughter sees a problem to be solved, my younger one sees a problem that overwhelms. I've discovered that if I give my younger daughter a list to check off the things she needs to do to clean her room, she gets the job done with no fuss. It's a matter of understanding your child's unique personality and working with it.
So, if one activity or conversation didn't seem to get your point across, try a different one. Ask God to show you what the best way is to teach your child. And don't be discouraged when you feel like a broken record. Someday, you'll be rewarded when your child comes and tells you he understood your point and put it to use in his own life.