Being a child is a time of learning, making mistakes, learning some more, and mastery. But sometimes, as parents, we grow impatient with the process.
Recently, my grandchildren were visiting, and one of them began to whine and demand attention. My daughter-in-law patiently turned to him and said, “Try again.” He calmed a bit and repeated his request but wasn’t quite calmed down so she repeated, “Try again.” By the third try, he could calmly communicate his request.
It reminded me of driving with GPS. The voice tells me to turn but whoops! I missed the turn! Instead of berating me, the voice calmly says, “Rerouting . . .. calculating a new route.” And then once it’s adjusted, it tells me the new directions. There’s no lashing out, “I can’t believe you didn’t listen to me! I told you to turn! What an idiot!” That has never once occurred. There’s no screaming, “Don’t you ever listen. Why do I have to tell you time and time again, I know the way? Just do what I say the first time!” Nope, hasn’t happened once.
Children are like lumps of clay being pushed and molded over time. It takes years to learn self discipline, good judgment, obedience, and more. But it can be frustrating as parents when we have to repeat ourselves over and over and over again. But we have to take a calm breath ourselves, step back and say, “Try again.”
As we give our children time to adjust, to calm, to reevaluate, it allows them to also take a step back and control themselves. Such lessons are invaluable.
And instead of crushing those precious little spirits, we give them a little space to try again.
By Merrilee Boyack
Merrilee Boyack received her degree in Business Management at Brigham Young University and her law degree at Santa Clara University. She is married with four sons and has established her own estate planning law practice, working part-time from her home. Merrilee speaks and writes of her experiences, combining humor, memorable stories, and tender emotion. Her first best-selling book, “The Parenting Breakthrough”, contains all the practical advice she has learned through raising her four sons, while “Strangling Your Husband Is NOT an Option” combines her humor with lessons learned in her marriage.
Merrilee speaks to thousands all over the country. She is a very popular speaker at Time Out for Women and BYU’s Education Week and speaks to all kinds of groups. She continues to write – “52 Weeks of Fun Family Service,” “Toss the Guilt and Catch the Joy,” and “In Trying Times Just Keep Trying” which chronicles Merrilee’s experience with breast cancer. Merrilee has added life coaching to her portfolio career and helps clients move forward with their lives.
Boyack has been politically involved and currently serves as a councilmember in the City of Poway. She has created a number of community programs for community leadership development, care for the homeless, and city-wide emergency preparedness.
Merrilee is truly a renaissance woman – wife, mother, grandmother, lawyer, speaker, author, life coach and community leader. She is truly a loving teacher who inspires and motivates others to do good and be good and is committed to the rebirth of others.