Posted by: angiefm | August 18, 2009

On Anger (Mine) and Laziness (Theirs … AND Mine)

Updates

There is a lovely side-effect of not blogging for a couple of weeks.  People start sending me sms-es and emails to ask if I’m okay!  I am feeling so loved that maybe I should do it from time to time.  KIDDING!  *grin*

I have been feeling really tired the last couple of weeks.  Mainly because Small Mister (aka Daniel the now 3-month old) has been waking up repeatedly at night at 1 and a half to 2 hour intervals which means I need my afternoon nap to make up for inadequate sleep.  Also he’s become rather demanding during the day.

But also because we have had a few other things to do during the week – we have started our weekly fieldtrips again (haven’t done this the whole year because of pregnancy and baby) and the kids have had to go to the dentist twice in the last 2 weeks which effectively wipes us out for the rest of the day.

Anger

On to the blog proper.  I have been feeling really short with the kids recently.  Combination of things I’m sure, but where it used to take more for me to be angry, I find myself losing it more rapidly these days.  Of course everyone I tell this to provides me with some excuses for this, but Biblically, there is no excuse for anger! 

I recently listened to Anger: Relationship Poison, an audio recording of a talk by Steve and Teri Maxwell and have been really convicted about this issue.  Here are some Bible verses mentioned in their talk.

  • Ecclesiastes 7:9: Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.
  • Proverbs 14:17: A quick-tempered man does foolish things, and a crafty man is hated.
  • Galatians 5:19 – 21: The acts of the sinful nature are obvious … fits of rage … dissensions, factions … I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
  • Ephesians 4:31: Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
  • Psalm 37:8: Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.
  • Proverbs 21:19: Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife.
  • Proverbs 14:29: A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly.
  • Colossians 3:21: Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
  • Proverbs 29:22: An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins.

As a result of this, I have become very mindful of my reaction, attitude, tone, etc the past couple of weeks.  And guess what?  I have actually become calmer, more loving toward my children, more cheerful. 

I have hugged them more, and spent more time explaining things to them instead of nagging and raising my voice.  I have been more deliberate in speaking kind words and empathising, and instead of jumping to conclusions about why they did what they did, I have been seeking to understand. 

Isn’t it amazing that we can be kind and speak cheerfully to complete strangers but reserve the worst for our own children?

I am praying that this will be the beginnning of my climb out of the anger pit!

Laziness

Just this morning, while nursing the little one, I was reading from the chapter on Raising Responsible Children in the book Child Training Tips by Reb Bradley which ended with this list:

Signs of Laziness:

  • Expects every day to offer fun instead of work; great disappointment when wishese for recreation go unfulfilled.
  • Avoids work: attempts to persuade parents that there is a better use for their time; offers excuses why they are unable to work; begs to have workload reduced.
  • Avoids the task-assignor.
  • Does as little as possible; works slowly.
  • Puts off starting a job; chooses to play before work.
  • Works inefficiently, ie: with one hand, sitting down, carries one at a time, etc.
  • Does an incomplete job; quits before finished; jobs done sloppily with little attention to details.
  • Negotiates with a sibling or friend to do the job.
  • Looks for breaks; leaves the job early.
  • Finds multiple excuses to stop work, ie: bathroom breaks, drinks, looking for tools, etc.
  • Intentionally works slowly or does such an inadequate job that the parent takes over and finishes the task.
  • Sleeps-in every opportunity; stays in bed after called.
  • Works for “eye service” ; only works hard when being supervised.
  • Constant, unrelenting daydreaming.
  • Disappears when thinks job is completed and neglects to ask if there is anything else to do.

Oh boy.  I can tell you that I have seen many of these behaviours in my children.  Hey, let me be honest.  I can tell you that I have seen many of these behaviours in MYSELF!

So today when one of the children asked for permission to get a drink before starting one piece of work and asked to go to the toilet before starting with the next piece of work, I asked that child to read the list and tell me if any of the behaviours described sounded familiar.  And when another another took more than an hour to finish an assignment in Chinese, I asked that child to read the list and do likewise.  It was as convicting for them as it was for me. 

Admittedly the slide into laziness has been because they are receiving less supervision from me than they did in the past, and also because we are doing less these days so they have more time to stretch their work out.  So tomorrow I’m going to get everyone to pull up their socks again.

And I really pray that I will be able to help them to curb laziness in their lives even as I work it out in mine.

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Responses

  1. Hi Angie, I feel edified by your sharing! Thank you for reminding me not to reserve the worst of ourselves for our family.

  2. well, i still marvel at how much you get done and still think about doing things better. as usual, thanks for your ever generous sharing– definitely food for thought!

  3. hi angie

    your good friend Barb directed me to your blog and i’m having a GREAT time reading it and learning from you. LOVED your posts on reading and the booklists you made, i’ve copied a few down.

    just wanted to share that when i reached this post and read the signs of laziness, to my horror, i saw myself! and my 5yo! urgh!

    time to pull up socks is an understatement!


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