I have a 4 year old that is very difficult. And lately he has been even more difficult. Can you guess his name? Haha, yes, it is my 4 year old Jeremiah. Upon realizing that he has been extremely difficult compared to the norm I decide to pray and evaluate the situation. After much much meditation and prayer on the situation, the Lord was so gracious to reveal to me that Jeremiah is lonely. I spend time doing Little Joe’s school, then Joelina, then I let them all play and I work in the kitchen. I clean and do odds and ends and hardly ever sit down to even enjoy my hot cup of tea.
Jubilee who has always been his buddy and is going to be 5 soon. She has recently been more willing to play with the girls away from Jeremiah. The girls also do not enjoy playing with Jeremiah because he doesn’t listen very well. The boys play along side him and do not give him the attention that he needs. I think this is a boy things. If the girls were willing to play with him, he would receive nurture and love from them. They already have mothering and nurturing instincts.
Everything seemed normal except for Jeremiah’s bad behavior, but NORMAL is not always good. I spoke to my husband about Jeremiah and what I thought was the problem. The very next morning he was in my room screaming and crying in the morning because he could not find a piece of his toy and no one could either. He was having a melt down. I was just waking up and not in the mood for this! I was talking to Joe on the phone and while Jeremiah was screaming he reminded me about what we had talked about the night before. I sent Jeremiah to his room and finished my good morning talk to my husband and hung up. I got up and went to help Jeremiah and we didn’t find the toy. (Legos are not a good toy for a child who is 4 and can build things but doesn’t have the maturity to keep track of the pieces.)
I dealt with Jeremiah (I took the Legos away and told him he couldn’t have them any more today) and got things done in the morning up until lunch time. While Jeremiah was eating I asked him if I could sit down with him and he was so happy you could see his smile from one end of his ear to the other. He sat on my lap and I hugged him and helped him eat the rest of his food. Then once he was finished, we went to my sewing room, just he and I. I sat on the floor with him and played with the Octonauts quiet book that I’m working on. We put the pieces on each character and enjoyed peaceful quality time together. His behavior and demeanor changed completely! He was loving, patient, kind, obedient, talking more instead of wining, acting like a big boy and not a baby and he was even helping me make another Octonauts page. Clearly God heard me and answered my prayer. When it was time for his nap, I asked him if he was ready to go to bed. Instead of crying and walking like a gorilla as if his hands are suddenly to heavy, he responded, “Not yet mommy, waita minute.” I laughed and waited about a minute and asked again, and you wont believe this he said yes and we walked in the direction of his room. This was a changed boy in an instant! His mommy saw his need, and met it with love.
I want to stress that in a time when a child is under stress and can not communicate his/her problem, discipline is not always the solution. Some times they just need love, mercy, and grace.
I would encourage you mothers if your child is displaying difficult behavior out of the norm, pray, ask God for wisdom and he will freely give it to you. I do this often and there has never been a time that I asked God for wisdom with my children that he did not grant it to me. May you be blessed as you ask God to give you wisdom for your own children.