Oatmeal…healthy, hearty and yummy with a touch of cinnamon and brown sugar…maybe a splash of maple syrup, mm-mm! A little sweetness and a little spice go a long way. Preparing it is a process. Not a difficult one, but too much or too little of one ingredient could ruin the whole bowl. What is your daily process as a mom? Do you ever feel like all you are doing is telling your kids…pick up this, do that, brush your teeth, stop yelling, quiet down, no running in the house, be nice, no tattling…etc..etc…? I am the kind of parent that doesn’t like to let bad behavior just slip by. That can be good, and it can be not-so-good. Being an ‘on-top-of-things’ kind of parent is necessary at times, but there is a limit. Not only so you don’t go into cardiac arrest and leave your kids without a mom, but we can easily close their spirit and they won’t listen to a word we have to say anyway. You know, the Charlie Brown adult voice…’wo wo waaa wa waa’ is all they will hear. Evaluate your kids…each of them separately.
What is one thing that you really want them to change? C’mon, be honest…there is something about each of our kids we aren’t thrilled with. What are they missing? The sweet? The spice? The main ingredient?! If the offense of the moment cannot be directly tied to that one thing…think twice. Is it going to make a difference? The bowl we put the oatmeal in doesn’t make it taste any better; it just makes it look different. I’m not saying we let everything else slide, but we need to think before we nag. It’ll make for a much nicer day…for us and for them! Concentrate on character issues, not pet peeves. God gave our children their personalities, and it is our job as moms to help shape their character. I say to my kids…who do you want to be to others? Whether we like it or not, people are going to label us. What’s it gonna be? Are you going to be ‘the tattletale’? The ‘nose picker’? The ‘know-it-all’? The one who is so sweet that he or she gets walked on or bullied? Help them be the best, balanced ‘them’ they can be. Help them be the kid that everyone wants as their friend. You know the kind of person that ‘makes friends and influences people’.
15-20 years from now when your kid is our doctor, or our nurse, or our grandkids’ teachers, we will be careful to thank you, Mom, or Dad! Let’s raise up an oatmeal generation…healthy, hearty, with a sprinkling of sweet, and a touch of spice. They are worth it!