I save most of my computer work for after the kids are in bed, but tonight instead of rushing to work on my to-do list, I felt l needed a spiritual boost after a long day of potty training accident after accident and angry mom moments.
I have plans to go visiting teaching in the morning, so I flipped open to this month’s Ensign and read the message.
I started reading this:
Our Heavenly Father established families to help us teach correct principles in a loving atmosphere. President Thomas S. Monson said: “Give your child a compliment and a hug; say, ‘I love you’ more; always express your thanks. Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.”1
Susan W. Tanner, former Young Women general president, taught: “Our Father in Heaven exemplifies the pattern we should follow. He loves us, teaches us, is patient with us, and entrusts us with our agency. … Sometimes discipline, which means ‘to teach,’ is confused with criticism. Children—as well as people of all ages—improve behavior from love and encouragement more than from fault-finding.”2
I felt immediately humbled. Right before bed I had scolded Evelyn pretty hard for peeing on the dining room floor. It was her 3rd deliberate accident today (including one at Home Goods) and I was not happy about it. I was mean and got really frustrated with her.
I took her straight to bed and she said, “Mom, don’t be mean.” I apologized for getting frustrated and told her that I could try harder to be nice and she could try harder to not have accidents.
So when I read this message about Parenthood as a Sacred Duty, I learned a great lesson. And it particularly applies to what I’m even dealing with potty training right now. The gospel is so amazing like that! It can always apply to what we are going through.
- Heavenly Father loves us and is patient with us, even though we make mistakes. I need to be more loving and patient with Evelyn while she figures this out.
- Discipline does not mean criticism. If I want Evelyn to improve her behavior, she will be more apt to do it if she feels love and encouragement over fault-finding (i.e. getting mad at her for peeing on the floor for the 10th time!)
- I like what President Monson says, “Never let a problem to be solved become more important that a person to be loved.” And to compliment and say I Love You more.
Here’s to a better day tomorrow!