reflecting on parenting…..

Last week was rough. Not really the entire week. Particularly last Sunday. Our 3 year old is definitely up for challenging all of our parenting capabilities right now! Maybe these words sounds familiar to some of you???


“We don’t hit.”

“We don’t throw things when we’re angry.”

“I don’t know what you mean…please use your WORDS.”

BUT even amdist all of these….

“That was so NICE of you!”

“You are such a good little brother.”

“I’m SO proud of you!”

He’s pretty cute to boot…..

….(when he’s not screaming.) ;-)

I’d love to share a specific story with you about last week since it

pretty much catapulted to the #1 worst days EVER with our son.

Let me start by saying, through it all, and in the end, I’m thankful.

Thankful for my son and his awesome personality.

We had stayed the night at the beach house and planned to head out to church in the morning and a couple get togethers with friends.

It started with screaming…..which didn’t really end :-(

Kicking, screaming, crying, fussing, throwing of 3 year bodies on the ground (yes, by him, to clarify!),

running away, not getting buckled in his carseat (ugh, I hate car seat battles!).

We had arrived for church service and he did not want to go to class, which mostly just went along

with not wanting to get dressed, eat breakfast, get buckled, walk, and basically just “listen”.

Yup….a man on a mission I tell ya!

Long story short – I told him he needed to go potty before class.

Guess what? He didn’t want to do that either.

SO much so, that after screaming at me in the bathroom stall for a really long time

(since you can’t “make” a kid go potty)

I went to the main door and was talking with daddy for a minute about just how exactly

to deal with this lovely situation, then as I walked back into the bathroom,

I heard a sound……… peeing. But NOT peeing in a toilet.

For real people!!!

I came around the corner to see my 3 year old son turned AWAY from the toilet,

hands firmly on his hips, that “look” on his little face,

and him peeing into the wind.

I felt like I had one of two choices.

1. Get angry and lose it.


2. Laugh in disbelief about what I was witnessing.

I chose #2.

The service had started at 10:00, and we finally made it to some seats at 10:40!

This was definitely one of those moments when you think, “Why did I even bother?”

It’s really always worth it in the end, but still…those feelings are still there,

and I know I’m not in alone in those feelings.

So WHY exactly am I even sharing this???

It’s easy as parents to let a “bad” or “difficult” day, week, or season,

make you feel like a failure, like giving up, or getting distracted.

I spent a good part of this last week since that incident really reflecting

on how to parent our son. It definitely needs to be a little different with each of our kids.

Admidst all of this reflecting (and still some screaming), we had a pretty awesome week.

I really felt more patient with our son, more observant, less angry, more loving…

more attentive, more creative, and so on.

I truly believe he responded positively because of these immediate changes.

Our lives have been so much in an unstructured, inconsistent upheaval, which

stresses me out enough let alone an emotional little 3 year old! LOL :-)

When I told people this “potty” story throughout the week, I was actually a bit

surprised at the variety of responses I got,

“Oh man, I woulda…..”

“What a defiant little……”

“Strong leadership potential!”

“Hahaha…I don’t even know what to say to that!”

AND a TON of sympathy!!!

As a parent, we all have stories.

When this all happened, and I thought about my son this week, this is what I determined:

My son is committed.

My son is determined.

My son is not a quitter.

My son is a fighter.

My son is fearless.

When I see him in other situations:

My son is compassionate.

My son is concerned about others.

My son likes to be part of a team.

My son has ideas and is not afraid to try, fail, try, fail….

My son is creative.

WOW….all from a little potty incident.  No joke.

Maybe, in a weird way, I needed all that to happen so I can better appreciate

what a gift I’ve been given.

Love you bub.

Join me on:





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  1. Anneke, you are a great momma!

  2. He is the greatest little man i know :)

  3. grandma cheryl says:

    yep that is my grandson and what a wonderful man he will be with the patient, gentle, guiding hand of his wonderful mother. Anneke you are doing a wonderful job and as your mother I am deeply proud to see the mother you have become. You are doing well daughter and I am proud of you!

    • Hahaha! Well mom…I’m not always nearly as patient as I should be. :-) But thank you ~ you know there have been some rough patches along the way, so thank YOU for all of your support. I could never do this alone…

  4. I can wholeheartedly relate to this Anneke. I have a four year old little boy who challenges me in every way! Some days are GREAT…others not! What an awesome mom you and and what an amazing gift we have in each of our sons to be able to learn how to be a better friend, mom, wife, person just because of them. Such a blessing…will be praying for you, sweets! God’s doing amazing things in your family! I believe it! Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. SarahGray says:

    An eke, stumbling on your post 2 years later and thinking your little man has grown up and become probably quite a helper to you and your projects?! I had one of these “challenging boys.” My words of wisdom to you…keep his busy with tasks, focus on the positive always, don’t let teachers bog him down with negative attention -the things that they criticize him for now will lead to his success late

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