One of the things that is said to parents is the importance of consistency – and I believe it to be true. If we send mix messages to our kids – sometimes it is important, and sometimes it is not – they will not develop in understanding or valuing the moral truths that we say we are trying to teach them. So consistency is important.
The character trait that is connected to consistency is diligence. And I have found over 20 years of parenting that really it comes back to me being consistent with my own boundaries, my own responsibilities, and when I’m in a good place I am more able to be consistent in the training of my children.
To be diligent means to put all my energy into the tasks that are mine. We need to do the right thing at the right time, resist temptations to deviate or slacken off, and put effort into what we are doing. Diligence!
There is a lot to be done – so we need to stick it out. The training of a toddler isn’t over and done within a day, a week, or even a year – this is a long term thing we have here. The training that we do today, lays the foundation for skills and understanding for when they are older.
I like to remind myself of Proverbs 31 often, and in particular today verse 17: She girds herself with strength and makes her arms strong. Proverbs 31:17
We need to be strong to be a mum. Proverbs 31 is talking about physical strength. And yes, as an older woman going through the toddler years, I can attest that youth and strength was a good thing!! But we also need to be strong spiritually.
Being strong spiritually is a topsy turvy thing. When I am weak, I am strong said Paul. Our strength comes not in knowing it all, not in our own understanding and ability but rather when we rely on Jesus. We need to turn to Jesus; take our cares to him. There have been so many times when I have been bamboozled by one of my children, not knowing what was going on in their little hearts – when I’ve taken my cares to Jesus, He gives me peace, strength and wisdom.
So as we set out to be consistent, to be diligent with all that we put our hands to, my desire is that I do it in God’s strength, with His wisdom – may it be your desire too!
You can see the rest of my Living with a Toddler for 31 days series here.
Or find more 31 day series here.