- He's hungry
- He's tired
- He's overstimulated
- He's been ignored most of the day (cry for attention)
- I haven't shown a lot of love (little things like smiles, a kind touch, kind words, etc.)
- I'm ornery
- He doesn't feel well
- I get mad at each offense, which only fans the flame
I wanted to make this list because I think I've been losing sight of the reasons behind his outbursts. I've been more focused on how annoying they are and how they're driving me bananas, which means I've been thinking all about Me! Me! Me! I think I need to focus more on him and why he's upset and what I need to do to help him be happier. Sometimes that means he'll need some good discipline, but discipline is almost 100% more affective when done with love. Lets just say I haven't felt a whole lot of love when I've disciplined him the last few days.
This morning, for instance, he was sooooo grumpy and whiny that I finally lost it. As I was cooling off in my room, I realized he hadn't had any breakfast. I'd forgotten to feed him (I know, you all wish you were as good a mom as me)! So, he's eating now and probably feels a lot better and hopefully will be much happier and agreeable. If I had stopped and tried to understand him, I wouldn't have lost my temper nor harbored ill feelings about him. He was hungry, so of course he would have been grumpy- I would have too!
My thoughts are taking me again to some things I've been mulling over the last few weeks. I'm reminded of Elder Wirthlin's words:
“But,” you ask, “what if people are rude?” Love them. “If they are obnoxious?” Love them. “But what if they offend? Surely I must do something then?” Love them. “Wayward?” The answer is the same. Be kind. Love them. Why? In the scriptures Jude taught, “And of some have compassion, making a difference.” Who can tell what far-reaching impact we can have if we are only kind?
I have to admit that when Noah has been getting under my skin, it's a lot harder to show love toward him, but I know if I do the reward will be all the greater. If I just try to understand him, have charity toward him, those moments when there is the potential for him to drive me bananas and make me lose my temper will be driven away. In place of those ill feelings will be love, compassion, and peace.