Here are some words of advice from a mom who knows: prayer works. It has been working since God created man, but more specifically, it has been working for me since Friday.
With me at my wits end and embarrassingly clueless as to how to handle my toddler, I settled for what should have been my first resort, not my last resort: Prayer. Why didn't I think of or do this sooner? I purchased Dr. Dobson's book The Strong Willed Child last summer and only recently began reading it in the last two months. Dobson wrote in his book about a couple with a strong-willed child who began laying hands on and praying over their child each night after she had fallen asleep. Don't get me wrong, I pray for my child all the time, but this prayer was more purposeful. It was a prayer specifically to cast out the defiant, disobedient will, while praying for the fostering and cultivating of the child's good and true inner spirit.
It was Thursday night when I began earnestly praying with a purpose. If you recall from previous posts, Thursday was the climax of all the toddler-ness that possessed my child. David was sent home from school for drawing blood and was having an all-together horrible day. Make that, week. I wanted no part of repeating those kind of days, so I got on my knees, so to speak.
I prayed that God would hold David's little heart in His hand. I prayed for God's guidance as he went through His day. I prayed that his defiant and disobedient will would be cast out. I prayed that the true wonderful spirit of David would be fostered and cultivated. I prayed that God would fill David with gentleness, kindness, and compassion. I prayed for patience and wisdom as a parent. I stood over his bed and I prayed and I prayed and then I prayed some more. Tears streamed down my face as I prayed for my little boy. God answers prayer.
Now, I didn't awake on Friday morning to find myself the mommy of a Stepford child who spoke in complete and polite sentences, who sat in his seat for the entire meal, who never got upset when I said no, and who quietly and happily played with toys as I cooked and cleaned. No, I was still the mommy to a 2.5 year curious little boy. However, there was a difference, not only in David, but in his mommy. I had completely and unabashedly given it over to God. And, because I had done so, God was able to do what God does best: be God.
It has been several days now and everynight I have crept into David's room and quietly placed my hand on him and prayed a little prayer for that sweet boy. And everyday I am witness to God's power and faithfulness. I am sure that there will be days when it seems that my prayers hadn't worked, but I know better. On days like those, I will just prayed harder.
God is good. All the time!