Sunday, January 30, 2011

He's Just 8 Years Old

Tonight I thought about my 8 year old, and replaced my attitude of 
"he is 8 years old, he needs to..."
with "he is just 8 years old, I need to..."
My husband and I feel like our challenge lately has been with our oldest. It always works out where we find one of the boys is in need of prayer and attention, more than the others, at any specific time. We hardly ever have felt comfortable enough with all of them at the same time where prayer is just an option. Each child will undoubtedly, at some point or another, give us reason to feel helpless as parents, and push us to our knees before God.
I am blessed to know that if I don't get the red flag, my husband goes before the Lord each morning before work, and prays over us and his sons...usually, we see a huge step forward in the one we struggle with most during these times.
So now, I know it is my oldest. He needs his mom and dad to cover him in prayer, because he is just 8 years old. He says things that remind me of me when I was a teenager, and that scares me most...
he thinks we favor his siblings over him...
or he gets the raw end of the deal.
I know it is completely normal, but I don't want it to grow into a habitual attitude on his end, and an ignored misconception on my end. I want my little boy to know that we think he is just as valuable as every member in this family, and that, although the expectations for him are going to be inevitably different, we will invest in him as much as his more, no less.
Last spring, I went to the Hearts at Home Conference in Normal, Illinois (HIGHLY recommend this), and listened to a speaker talk on sibling rivalry. I gleaned great information from this, and realize how much power I have as a parent to curb it. It is a constant struggle to maintain the balance, especially with 3, almost 4 kids in the mix...but as the God-designed mother for these kids, I am going to do my best to give them a fighting chance!
So tonight, I sat down and wrote my son a letter- a love letter, I guess. I gave him words of affirmation and reminded him that he is special. I am so excited for him to get it, because he loves receiving mail...he sends it to his friends and cousins, then waits anxiously for a reply. I hope my letter to him will be met with the same enthusiasm, but mostly, I hope he will feel firmly rooted in love and know what a great 8 year old he really is!


  1. Oh I love this Angie! I am struggling with Holden right now big time. I believe it actually started at 8 when his little brother was born. I feel like all I do is send him to his room for being disrespectful and for aggravating his brother. He feels like I favor his little brother over him too. I love the idea of the love letter. Holden is a kid who responds well to words of affirmation. Thanks so much!

  2. Oh Angie,

    I love this post. Your son is SO blessed to have you as a Mama. And I'm sure he'll love that letter!

    You know, I wish I could go to the conference...sounds like a good one! Some of the moms from my church are going to the one this year.