The other day after coming home from the library, I was mentally exhausted. First, I am so thankful for a husband who is patient with me especially when I try to communicate...sometimes it takes a very long time. :P But anyways, that is another blog post. The reason I was so frustrated and mentally exhausted was because the whole time we were there, I felt like I was constantly telling Levi not to do something.
I felt as though I was micro-managing him. A few examples, there was a little boy building a lego tower, Levi went to start picking up all the legos....including the ones the little boy was building with. So of course I had to explain we don't do that and we can pick up the other legos. Then, he got a normal toddler burst of energy and threw a board book. It luckily hit no one, but then I had to get down on his level and explain that we do not throw books, that he needed to go pick the book up and put it gently back on the shelf. What seemed like less than a minute later, he made a child cry because he was hugging her and wouldn't let her go (yes aw....but not always a good thing lol...oh and a quick rabbit trail story, shortly after this, another kid bigger than him came and gave him a hug...well they both ended up on the floor crying lol. Levi got a taste of his own....hugs...? :P). Then, I had to tell him not to burp another baby, or say excuse me but then push the other kid out of the way, etc. I felt like the whole time I was just telling him what not to do.
I came home and asked John if I was micro-managing our son and if I should just let him "figure it out." He encouraged me and said I was being a good parent. I wasn't getting frustrated at him (mentally, but not at Levi himself) and that I was training him to have self-control and how we act in social settings. Because of his age, he does need to be "managed." As he gets older, it can turn more into a conversation. Something like, "Levi buddy, people don't appreciate it when a stranger comes up and gives them a hug. It makes them feel uncomfortable. It is very sweet of you, and I am thankful that you are showing love like God shows love for us, but lets do it will each other and our friends only." Or, "Hey Buddy, I am so thankful you are trying to help your friend out by burping them, but they don't like that and it annoys them. We need to not do that." His little brain cannot fathom those conversations right now, so it is just "Buddy, look at mommy. Don't annoy please." Or, "Buddy, you need to share, give those back." Sometimes it sure can feel overwhelming and tough, but after John's amazing encouragement to continue to "Not grow weary in well-doing" and to keep training our son up to become a wonderful friend and leader that has self-control and has good social obedience. These things just don't come naturally to him....or me. We are natural born sinner. It is only through God's grace and mercy and Christ dying on the cross for our sins that we can being to change and learn to grow more and more like Him. These simple management situations are great examples and a wonderful gateway that I can use to point him to the gospel. The little saying that "sharing is caring" is so true. It is a way to put others before ourselves and to slowly become a good father, dad, and brother by starting now to die to self. Mommy needs to work on this as well. :) We are growing together!