October 21, 2007

What can I do better for Jacob

Jacob is a handful of a kid in his own ways. Generally, he is very obedient, sensitive, loving, protective of Mattie, happy, silly and funny.

On the flip-side, he is argumentative (for NO reason!), genuinely forgetful, anxious, very often quite negative, chatterbox-ish (to say the least!), and almost a control freak.

I've been struggling lately in feeling like I bring the worst out in him. Now, I know our kids are always better with other caregivers, but I feel like I (not Robert and I) bring the worst out in Jacob...not that he's just better with others. I also notice that he and Robert have some fun things they do as traditions, for lack of a better word... Robert telling train stories, digging in the dirt with the track-hoe at work, and wrestling on the living room floor. I don't have anything like that with Jacob, except reading books. (And I suppose to not count myself short, reading is one of his top three favorite things to do.)

Anyway, I've been praying for a couple of months for wisdom on how I can better parent Jacob. The Lord has always been faithful to answer my prayers for wisdom (usually quickly), and typically when I follow the wisdom He's given me, the situations work out well! So, I've been praying this for Jacob for a couple of months now without much of an answer. (Maybe He's been screaming and I've just not been hearing, but I've been trying to listen!) Anyway, in praying tonight about several major things, I asked again for wisdom to parent Jacob in a way that brings the best out of him. Aaaaah, and I believe the Lord answered me!

Not to say, "The Lord said" because I hesitate to put words in His mouth, but I feel like my answer that I need to play with Jacob. I meet his needs, and we read a lot of books (which gives us great snuggle time!), but rarely do I play with him. Jacob has always been a very independent "play-er" from what I hear from other parents (and see from Mattie-Ha!). He has never required any playing with, so I've not done it. But, in doing this, I don't have much time with him that is just fun time...relationship building time...stop what I'm doing and give him my undivided attention time. So, if this is the wisdom the Lord seems to be giving me, than I want to be doing it! In the long run, I want a relationship with Jacob, not just someone who told him what to do for the first 18 years of his life.

Honestly, this will not come easily to me. Play board games? No problem! Read books? All day long! Play imaginary things like trains? Please, No! And unstructured silliness? May it never be! Um, we're talking way out of the comfort zone of this structure and task oriented, serious, self-conscious (Yes, I know he's only 5) mommy. But that's what meeting needs is all about, isn't it?

So, you can be praying for me! Be praying the Lord will give me a desire to do these "fun-to-Jacob" things with him and selflessness when I don't have that desire. And praying for Jacob that his heart would be filled as I meet this need of his that I've been missing. And thank you ahead of time for holding me accountable to this, for Jacob's sake!

PS I'm not "just being hard on myself." I ask the Lord regularly for Him to show me how I can glorify Him more fully, and I believe this is an area He wants me to sacrifice out of my comfort zone. So, not looking for pats on the back like it's not what it seems! :)


CB said...

I could have written this! Playing is hard for me too, and my little girl constantly asks me to play.

I'll pray a little prayer for you and me, and other moms who need to do this differently than we have been.

Kjirstin C said...

It is so encouraging to me to see you be so humble and have such a heart for your kids! I will definitely be praying this for you, and that Jacob's heart will respond positively to you!

Love you

jen2n said...

Hey Liss! Well, I guess cuz I'm older I got to go first with this one, too! It's so easy to let the entire day go by without looking them in the eye, other than to say, "Hey, look at me when I'm talking to you, young man!" haha! But I found when I slowed down and forced myself to "play" their way, I noticed some really darling things about their personalities that I was missing until we interacted that way. Definitely worth it! You're pretty good at choosing a "simple" life, compared to mine in NJ, but I'll pray that you are inclined to play trains! I'm so glad we're doing this together! LY