We teach our children all sorts of things. We teach them about manners, how to share, working hard at school, just to name a few. But do we teach specifically about self-control?
Boys obviously need self-control as well. But I want to focus on our daughters
Girls can be EMOTIONAL. Some more than others.
I am not a hyper-sensitive female. I don't cry at movies, and I don't boo-hoo during that time of the month. That's not to say that I am emotionless-But I am aware that there is a time and a place for emotions. And I'm sorry, but emotional "outbursts" in everyday situations are not o.k.
When I had my 2nd born child, a daughter, (my first child is a relatively calm, compliant boy), I was in unchartered territory. She was definitely more emotional. I remember around the age of 2, she would cry ALOT. I'm not talking about colic type cry, I'm talking my world has been crushed because I didn't get my way cry. I knew I could not go through the next 18 years like this! God began to nudge me to train her in the area of self-control.
So at the age of 2, I began teaching her about self-control.
It started with little things-like when she folded her arms to pout, I would tell her to put her arms down.
If she was crying over a toy, I would physically remove her or the toy from the situation.
The self-control started with helping her control her physical actions. And I would use the word "self-control" when I talked to her about her actions.
As 3 and 4 rolled around, I talked to her about how God wants us to have self control. If you're not hurt, you don't have to cry "like that". There were daily opportunities to remind her that "this is not self controlled behavior".
By age 5, she fully understood what self-control was. Was she always self-controlled-no! But then again, am I always self-controlled? However, I could see her "controlling" her emotions in many situations.
At 6, she prayed to receive Christ. She began to understand the fruit of the spirit. We've prayed many times for God to help her have self-control.
Presently, at 7, she is not the emotional little girl she was at 2 and 3. I believe it's not just that she's matured. I believe it's because, by the grace of God and tools given to me by God, we have trained her.
Still not convinced? We've all seen 6, 7, 8, 10,13,15, and even 30 year old girls who whine and cry and are emotional messes. Why didn't they "mature"? They weren't trained. They weren't taught to recognize that particular fruit. The other day, she became visibly upset when I told her do something. She didn't cry, whine or argue with me. She went into the bathroom. She was quietly crying. Even my husband asked me what she was doing. LOL But 5 minutes later, she came out composed and went upstairs, and obeyed the instruction I had given her. That was one of those moments that I saw fruits of my labor!
Please understand that I don't want my daughter to be emotionless. She is going to cry and get upset, and that's o.k. on occasion or when the situation warrants real emotions. But I want her to understand that she doesn't have to cry over every.little.thing.
Being a woman is not a license to be an emotional mess.
The fruit of the spirit of self-control applies to us also.
Of course, this is always a work in progress, as is all aspects of child rearing. But the growth and maturity I have seen in her is amazing.
The best way I can train her to be self-controlled in her emotions is to model it. She has to see me living what I preach.
I love the verses in Titus 2 that charge us, as women to train the younger women-especially our daughters!! I'll leave you with these verses:
3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
Blessings to you,