What to do when people proclaim bad things about your children
I've had it happen many times. I started noticing it during my first pregnancy, but it's possible that it happened before. It's the kind of thing most people don't pick up. However, as Christians, I believe it's important to take note all the little things said about (and to) our children. This is because it can take hold of their true destiny. It sounds very dramatic, but I am convinced that it is true and this is why I pay attention to it. Here is what I do when people proclaim bad things about my children.
- During pregnancy
When I was pregnant, I heard many well intentioned people joke about the sleepless nights I was about to get. "Good luck!" they would say. I used to grin and take it in my stride, until I confided to Mat. "Don't you think we could just refuse the sleepless nights and proclaim our baby is going to sleep really well?" He agreed, and at that moment we prayed that our son would be a good sleeper. Everytime one of us heard someone mention sleepless nights, we would respond by saying "our son will be a good sleeper", and smile. I'm sure our friends and family must have been giggling inside at times, but we believed there was something about proclaiming it out loud that was crucial. If not for our baby, then for us (as it helped us believe it was actually going to be true.) Then, when we were on our own, we would renounce those lies. I remember Mat and I laughing about how we were going to sleep soooo well when our son would be born. Well, we did :) William only woke up once a night for the first three weeks, and slept through since then! (And for the record, I slept much better as a new mum than I did when I was 9 months pregnant)
- On children and baby clothes
Has anyone noticed how some baby outfits say things like "I love mummy and daddy"? Well, it's not always that nice. This one is really bugging me because I have two boys, and most boy's clothes display sentences such as "Here comes trouble" or "10% nice, 90% naughty" (I don't believe it's right either that girls should have to wear tiny version of (sexy) women's clothes, but that's another story) Ok, so this one is pretty simple. I just don't buy the tee shirts I don't like. If I get one of those as a gift, I politely say thank you but they don't get worn. It's a shame, because sometimes I really like the colours or the design, but I can't bring myself to make my sons wear something that proclaims negative things.
- The odd comment to me
Most of the time, it happens from mothers of older children who are having a hard time because their child is teething / hitting / biting / screaming etc. They will ask "is William doing that yet?" As if assuming that he will definitely go through the same stage. Because the person asking is already feeling a bit discouraged at this point, I don't normally pick it up. Or at least I don't say anything in front of them, - (other than "no") However, I silently bring it to God. Occasionnally, I answer "it won't happen" (and I wish I did it more). But this is usually if the person says something along the lines of "You'll see when William starts hitting..." because this is implying that he will hit. I'm not saying some children don't go through these stages, but I don't know that it's compulsory. I just think it's not helping them to assume that it is going to happen. We need to have positive expectations of our children!
- The odd comment to them
"Haha, you're a naughty boy, aren't you?" or "Come here, little devil". I know they don't mean to offend but this really bothers me. No, my son is NOT naughty, and he is definitely NOT a little devil. Yes, occasionnally, he does silly things, but it is mostly because he does not know he shouldn't be doing them. When he does know, I agree that his behaviour was naughty, but I make it a point to always say that it is not who he is. In this case, I always correct the person out loud. This is very important to me because my child is standing right there listening to the conversation and I want him to hear that I don't believe those lies. I will say "he's not a little devil, he's a really good little boy!" and add something like "look what he's done today!" I want my sons to know I am proud of who they are.
"Life and death are in the power of the tongue"
- Proverbs 18:21
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