Thursday, February 17, 2011


Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Mondays are stinky
And so is my shoe!

I know it's juvenile but that's how I felt on Monday. In fact, it's how I feel every Monday morning. But this week I had a plan. A plan to thwart all Monday morning blues. We were going to a Valentine's Day party that afternoon and so we had a a shorter agenda than most days. But all of my children seemed to be feeling my cranky. We all sat huddled in our corner of the kitchen holding a mug of tea like a life-line. I think I even heard growling from the baby!

Things were not going as I had written them down in my lesson plan book. There was no place for surliness, not a time slot devoted to pure grouchiness. So I did the only thing I know to do in these situations.

I forged ahead. I made them do their work. Even the 13 year old who has mastered glaring and eye-rolling. I attempted humor and silliness and when that didn't work I got out the timer. I tried to be loving and not hold a grudge against the children who were not grateful for my special plan. I think I only gritted my teeth twice.

I forged ahead to honor my mother and father who also forged ahead. I am sure we had days like this - but I don't remember. I only remember the good stuff (mostly). We make our children do what they should but they don't remember it that way. They just remember that they did it.

For instance, I know my parents made me go to church every Sunday, but I don't remember it that way. In fact, in my mind it was often my idea to go. The point of parenting isn't to make everything fun and wonderful and exciting; it's to model the right response to difficult situations. I certainly do not do this every day. In fact it's a good day if I've only blown it once. But I am finally learning that it's not about forcing my children to respond - it's how I respond to having to guide them to making the right choice. If I can respond to my child's willfulness with gentleness and understanding it's amazing the transformation I witness.

So on those days when I'd rather avoid a battle, however big or small, I need to remember that avoiding a battle for a time is only putting off the inevitable and allowing the fight to build force. I must remember that my attitude is the only essential attitude in our home. So I'm gonna say my prayers, prepare a plan, and have a stash of dark chocolate. Because dark chocolate is the only known substance to truly fight off crankiness.

A gentle answer deflects anger,
but harsh words make tempers flare.
Proverbs 15:1


  1. thanks Kara - very good advice! love reading your blog - keep writing please!

  2. Oh this is the first time I have read your blog, and it leaves me thinking "Let's have coffee...and chocolate...together."

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Teresa - thanks for the encouragement! If only implementing my advice were as easy as giving it. ;) Barbara - coffee and chocolate anytime!