Today is a guest post from Ruth Schwenk. She and her co-author Karen Ehman have penned a much-needed resource for moms called Hoodwinked. Today Ruth shares some wonderful encouragement from their new book. Enjoy!
We had tried about everything.
Nothing seemed to be registering, at least for lasting change.
“Tell me about her,” my friend continued.
I (Ruth) shared with her a little about my child’s personality and what she liked and disliked. I shared our history and some of the stories that would help her understand our parent-child relationship a little better.
My friend looked at me and said, “Well, she just needs to know you empathize with her.”
“Empathize with her?” I said.
“Yes. She needs to know you hear her, understand her, and feel what she feels before you teach her.”
I sat there for a moment, not knowing what to say at this uncomplicated answer to what I had been trying to figure out for months. This was a lightbulb moment for me.
“You mean everyone isn’t just like me?” Hello, Ruth! I had been so focused on how I felt that I never even stopped to consider our differences and how my child was feeling.
I know it seems so simple. But for me it was a tremendous discovery. Up until this time I had never taken into consideration that my children were not like me. Their personalities are all different, and they look at life situations different than me. Everyday life looks different through their eyes than it looks through mine.
We view a situation in two different ways, and instead of faulting my child for that, I need to understand her in order to reach her. Now I’ll admit it … it’s not easy. Not one bit. It takes every ounce of my being not to burst out laughing at a situation that I find rather humorous, yet she finds tragic. Or feel sympathetic when a situation looks more black and white to me. She is much more of a “feeler” than me. Now of course there has to be a balance, and you have to help your child learn how to handle her personality in light of how God wants us to live, but you can’t help her do that if you aren’t viewing life through her lens. You won’t be able to understand where she is coming from to help her in her journey of growth.
Right now as I sit here at my desk writing, my eye catches a large framed picture. On the picture matting all around the photo are the written words, “I love you, Mom. You’re the best mom ever. Best friends. Bella + Mom = Best Friends.” The framed picture is from my oldest daughter. The child I “just couldn’t figure out.”
I am so thankful that my friend spoke that truth into my life a few years ago. Her wise words changed the way I parented my daughter and helped me embrace our relationship. I had to intentionally (and still do) make an effort to work hard at understanding her. Some children are more outgoing, talkative, and personable. Others are quieter, more reserved, thinking cautiously and calculating everything. These differences are not weaknesses. The goal of recognizing differences is to help our children grow into the unique people God intended for them to be. We need to help them discover that their gifts, personalities, and interests are all a part of his plan and his story.
It has been so incredible to watch God knit my heart and Bella’s together.
I wouldn’t trade all that hard work for anything.
*Taken as an excerpt from the book with slight alteration for blog length from “Myth #9: I Have to Do It All Right, or My Child Will Turn Out Wrong”
My good friend Karen Ehman and I are absolutely thrilled to share a resource that we believe is a game-changer for moms: Hoodwinked: Ten Myths Moms Believe & Why We All Need to Knock It Off!
We have had ENOUGH of the misconceptions of motherhood!
Myths such as: “The way I mother is the right (and only) way,” “Motherhood is natural, easy, and instinctive,” or “My child’s bad choice means I’m a bad mom.” These myths leave moms hoodwinked and sometimes even heartbroken.
In our straightforward yet encouraging “we’ve been there” style, we enable mothers to
- Identify the ten myths of motherhood
- Replace the lies with the truth of what God says
- Forge healthy, supportive relationships with other moms of all ages and stages
- Confidently embrace the calling of motherhood as they care for their families in their own unique way
Ultimately, Hoodwinked equips mothers to stop searching for the secret and develop and embrace their relationships instead- with their kids, other mothers, and most importantly, with God.
You can grab your copy of Hoodwinked today HERE:
Affiliate links are used in this post.
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