A few nights ago, at about 10pm I was doing my nightly routine of cleaning up the kitchen and getting ready for bed. I walked by the laundry room to find a large pile of clean clothes stacked on the folding table and pool table, which serves as an overflow area for our laundry. None of the clothes were folded. They were all clean. If left up to my 3 kids, those clothes would continue to pile up, and they would make even more of a mess grabbing what they needed each morning. The pile of clothes slowly grew over a few days. Anger welled up in me, and I decided to do something about it finally.
As I dumped the clothes in the upstairs hallway, I yelled at the kids to put away their clothes. My wife quickly got wind of what was happening and tried to talk some sense to me. I barked back at her, which soon snowballed into the two of us fighting. I was rude. She didn’t deserve how I treated her. I wasn’t mad at her. She eventually told me to talk to the kids about the situation. Because I was angry at them, not her.
So, I had a pow-pow with the kids. Eventually, my anger subsided. They put away their clothes, and we went to sleep.
The issue wasn’t an isolated incident, but part of an overall problem. The kids don’t pick up after themselves, leave messes around the house, and don’t keep the house in order.
When it comes to parenting, as in life, there’s always one or multiple problems to address. At any given moment, there could be a problem with school, friends, peer pressure, making wise decisions, etc. I believe part of parenthood is accepting that problems will always exist, and learning to find joy and peace in all the chaos.
The same is true in life. Life is messy. Much of the time, problems of some kind exist. When one goes away, another one eventually pops up. Furthermore, we often have seasons of life that are marked by dark times. When a particular situation clouds every facet of life.
Here are some healthy ways to approach life when things don’t go your way.
Note: Read the full blog post HERE on our Ministry to Youth website.