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Ditching the Cranky Monster Mom

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
April 9, 2021 6:00 am

Ditching the Cranky Monster Mom

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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April 9, 2021 6:00 am

In a lighthearted but insightful conversation based on her book "The Cranky Mom Fix," Becky Kopitzke describes how frustrated moms can identify what triggers their anger, embrace forgiveness and grace, and offer kinder, gentler responses to their children for a more peaceful home.

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Good parents aren't perfect and that's okay but there are ways you can grow every day. Focus on the Family seven traits of effective parenting assessment gives parents an honest look at their unique strings plus some areas that could use a little help every mom and dad can help raise the next generation of healthy children and responsible children in this assessment will help get you started. Take the assessment of traits that's trade in those moments of mom Thaler and dad fail. We've got to remind our children that they are loved because the last thing I want is for my kids to think that God's love for them is dependent on their performance and if I modeling for them.

It's can be harder for them to believe that God loves them just the way they are.

If mom only loves you when you do things right. Becky Kaminski joins us today on Focus on the Family and your hostess focus Presidente and Dr. Jim Daly, thanks for joining us on John Fuller, John. I don't know how your household is, but of the Bailey home mom Jean.

She sets the tone as she is the temperature gauge if she's in a great mood. Everything is running pretty good and that I'm not sure if that's true for you. It generally is were all very aware of mom. I love that old saying you know if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy and it's so true, and I don't think it's a bad thing. Actually I think of mom's happy. That's a good thing and that should be part of the goal of keeping your marriage healthy, etc. today were to talk about parenting and here focus know those are two main themes, marriage and parenting. We want you to have the best family environment that you can have and work and help you today to learn to read which the parenting monster if I can call it that sometimes it does rear its ugly head.

We get that it happens in the daily home. I'm sure Tatiana's number is just kind of it. You know kids have an incredible way of pushing your triggers and bringing out. Perhaps the monster in you as a parent at to do that we've invited the recovering monster mom Becky Karpinski and she's going to join us today and Becky and her husband Chad live in Wisconsin and I have two daughters Clara and Noel and Becky coaches Christian writers and speakers in pod casters and she's an author and her latest book is the cranky mom fix get a happier, more peaceful home by slaying the monster in all of us to stop by the episode notes and click the link, therefore give us a call to get your copy Becky. Welcome to Focus on the Family, thank you for having me. Have you know you're from Wisconsin. Of course John's from there to see you two been disco and had an hour. Yes, we know what it's like to survive winter names of little towns like this is regarding well you mentioned growing up in well I live in mean I grew up in new Holstein, which is the ultimate cow town all sorts of only about Waukesha.

We've got lucky again.

We've got Fond du Lac all sorts of names I hope to get up there. My mom was from Wisconsin. So I really husband anytime up that's close to a root okay let's go watch a cheese I think I Wisconsin to the monster terminology, I think coined this phrase monster I love is how did the monster mom first show up in your life. Mom, unfortunately it was very early on in my parenting career I have this wonderful idea that I was going to be the patient's kind ever loving soft and gentle mom until I had an actual child has a will of her own from see our children have a will of their own. That's how God's design and and for me sadly the monster first appeared when my first daughter Clara was only a few weeks old. She woke me up in the middle of the night, as was the norm at that stage in life. Every mother with a newborn. Also that's about but I was just exhausted after the first few weeks I was feeling shellshocked from motherhood and I got up to give her a diaper change in a feeding and there was just this blowout diaper now mothers you know what I'm talking about trigger and I actually growled my baby, my three week old beautiful baby just said is so tired me sleep like the Holy Spirit slapped me across the face and I have this outpouring of guilt and I wept over the changing table.

My poor three week old baby did not deserve From me and I recognize that motherhood will squeeze out the most sinful parts of the woman, even one who thinks that she is very in tune with God and think she's got it under control all know now even the best of us.

Christian women can fall apart when we hit those triggers that call the monster to play well. Obviously, the question is why does the monster exist in what's in us that allows us to react to that a course of three week old baby can't be what they know about pushing your buttons still learn that a little later that point. Hey, I just have a dirty diaper and am hungry. Yes, all other asking from us is to raise them the way God is called us to do. The problem we like to blame it on the kids. You can't blame a three week old number for waking you up as the kids get older they will they will push your buttons, but even we want to blame it on the kids, but the culprit is really our own hearts to the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. So who can understand it, we certainly cannot really understand our own hearts, and when our scene is unveiled. We've got a look at ourselves first before we blame the kids begin to tame that right okay so how do you go through that process. Well unfortunately that's the lifelong begins in knowing my kids are not my enemy my kids on my team.

If we are starting with the foundation of that truth. Then we can approach them in a God honoring way.

But if we feel like our kids are the culprit. Our kids are the enemy. Our kids are the source of our sin and we got it all wrong so we got a look at ourselves first and understand what control we have and what control we don't have and then just recognize that tuning into Jesus is going to take us a long way in this route to taming the monster because our enemy is on the prowl. He would want us to do anything that's unloving because God is love. So anytime we act unloving. Satan gets another point for me just enough to know that he's got a hold of me in that moment I can snap out of it and say no way Satan you will not get my family today.

We've got to identify who the enemy really is and it's not our kids, and I don't think of assets of a guest but here you're in this territory, do it. There are nonbelievers that was in the Focus on the Family think it's really hard to find good marriage apparent content in the culture so they tune in. And if you're there were grateful that you're there.

But when were talking about the influence of evil in our heart or in our lives we refer to Satan. Some people might regard is this woman crazy and I agree with you wholeheartedly. By the way, but described that will but spiritually what's going on. The source of what's going on there is is there is this realm of good and evil that exists in the world and and for those of us who believe in Jesus, we know that in the heavenly there's an enemy of God and he's got his demon cronies and I can explain to people that I I mentor that sounds really will will write it concretely, but it's just the reality of the supernatural world we live in a supernatural world and some of us choose to acknowledge that some of us don't. That, in general, it's just a battle of wills are sin nature is a part of the ugliness inside of us that never really goes away. Even when we're following Jesus when faith is strong in our lives we're always been a battle this tendency to temptation to do something that is not good.

Have a good output and that you can blame it on Satan. You can blame it on all sorts of moods are there can be all sorts of reasons that we sure that we will place on why am I acting this way really when we fall short of living up to the Lords desire for us really has any desire for him to be recognized for good first step. You'll notice it in your marriage and if you got any selfishness or bad things remaining after that. Then you'll see it in your parents you describe.

It tells about the day your daughter is it Noel Noel's my younger Noel, your younger one when she had a nap or a non-nap. Experience how to bring out the monster in the last two years old and it was nap time and I liked him for snap snap time is my quiet time so you just got a toddler bed, which meant that now she was free to roam.

She wasn't stuck in the crib and so she developed this habit of thinking that nap time was just optional because now I can roam free from my bed so I had a baby gate that blocked the hallway of her bedroom from the kitchen and she would pop out of her bed and pattern over to the gate say money, money, and I would say go back to and I would take her hand and lead her back to her bed and say it's nap time. Now my night.

See you when you done and she would pat her back to the gate and I went. I just had it. One day I was so frustrated with her. I said I'm done, you're going back into that bed and I'm going into the other room where you cannot see me and I went and sat on the sofa and couple seconds later I heard a boom and a crash in my little stinker. At two years old, busted down the baby gate and came paddling toward me and I got so ice that she's a stuffed animal girl. She's always been a stuffed animal group. I gathered up all of her stuffed animals from the entire house and I shouted, I am going to throw away all of your stuffed animals there going in the trash and she started bawling and I was giving myself this fuming peptalk you know you've got to stand strong. She's being rebellious and you've got to make sure she doesn't become an outlaw when she grows up and down the law. And then she started crying and saying mommy I want you and I stopped in my tracks and I thought what kind of an outlaw, says, and she just turned me to send mommy she had her hands open, sniffling.

I want you to hold me and let the law leave my actions instead of love because underlying it. What did she really want she wanted my love and I didn't give it to her instead I gave her an attack on all of her stuffed and powerful picture because what do we do when we allow our anger to take over instead of tuning into Jesus, who is about love and grace, firm stance, yes, but I needed to let lovely my actions because underneath it all, she was having insecurities about napping. She wanted to hug and what I give her instead of a hug.

I gave her the rules and I gave her ranting and then of course I started drowning in my regret over that situation. I knelt down and I snuggled her and I gave her a hug and she was crying and I was near crying and as soon as I rocked her, she fell asleep in my arms in the kitchen is beautiful on the you know the difficulty is, there are times, as apparently you need to do those things you always want to put love first I love that you're thinking about first finding out what do you need from a wire you acting this way, but it does take an adult to do that and I guess it comes back to those triggers are so many moms listening right now going, that's me, that's what I do. I get frustrated I get angry and let's hit some of those other triggers just really quickly continual so because we like to say to the kids behavior, but there are so many underlying triggers, and there can be so many they can be physical triggers such as I got a headache or I'm exhausted. I didn't get enough sleep or I'm I'm not feeling well today, or environmental triggers such as baby, honestly, sometimes it's raining.

It looks gloomy outside I'm just not in the best mood today or I'm too hot I'm too cold or emotional triggers. My goodness, anytime. My husband and I had an argument.

It is much more difficult for me to give my kids kind and calm attention because my tapes are playing about the argument that my husband and I had it could be a variety of stresses or emotions that are happening to us that have nothing to do with the children and we take it out on the kids and then spiritual triggers if I've noticed when I am not spending time talking with the Lord when I am not praying before acts, then I'm far more likely to be cranky and not a single one of us is going to do this perfectly. That's why I talk to women about this because I have done it so imperfectly and yet I found ways to identify my triggers and we need to identify them because then eating unknown adversary.

If we don't put our finger on what exactly is causing this, then we will be able to beat it again you get to share all your foibles with those you have the story about your daughter and the book were I think she was going to be competing in a geography bee, or something like that and of being this moment. What did you learn to trust, apply, learn how to humble myself.

I'll tell you that my daughter Clara was in fifth grade at the time and she had been selected among all of her classmates participate in the schoolwide geography bee, and the GOP was big deal so I had bought her by her request.

She begged me to buy her the study guide for the National Geographic GOP makes sense, absolutely. And I'm all for supporting education.

So I bought this book and then fast forward about a month. We got to Christmas break and she said to me in the evening. Mom tomorrow is the GOP said what tomorrow is the GOP it's tomorrow and I realize she had not cracked open the book and I said I bought you the study guide. I thought your intention was to study from it so that you could do your best in the GOP and I got so upset with her for wasting the time that she could've spent on this book that she asked me to buy and I spent my hard earned money right I bought this book for her and she wasted the opportunity and here she was going to compete without being prepared and I just berated her for it and then she got so upset with me and I realized that I was what I was imparting on her was personal my own perfectionism, so I needed to separate myself from her at that moment, and then I said all right you know what instead of making this about anger. Let's take advantage of this opportunity. We are can have a study party tonight okay that you didn't spend the whole month and over Christmas break. Really, what kind of a mother expects her child fifth-grader to be spending all of her free time studying for a deal be, that doesn't really have any ramifications in her life long-term so I said let's have a study party so we cracked open Outlook and I said for every right answer you give me you were to get an M&M and we can have pizza and we ended up having a great time, but that was a Band-Aid that the study party that we had in all the chocolate that I now keep on hand. You are not now. I recommend that all of that to happen because I didn't handle it well. In the first place so that little stinker went to school the next day in between 58th graders. She ended up making third place in that deal be anyway and did you know it's completely impossible to truly prepare for the National Geographic GOP. You basically have to be known expert on the game of Jeopardy. Nobody really can answer all those questions and so I felt so horrible that I had imparting my own perfectionism on her when really she was just excited to go into the GOP.

Yeah, you kind of answer this next question, but we need to ask you, and fill it out with other examples because what you're describing in the examples that you've given her certain degrees of response and some good outcomes. Actually, the idea that you're able to pull back and I think for some parents, Christian parents to. It's hard to recognize that pit of despair and triggering that would fall into it so you know, if you go over the line.

If you don't come up with the okay were going to do the fun study night tonight and you stay in the anger part of it like why did you not schedule your time and you can really you can heap on the guilt when what they need his help. Yes, because you know still in the teen years are not fully functioning, and they need guidance at times and it does frustrate us as parents. What they're not thinking straight right because it did not obey Lando here.

Yes, exactly.

So how do you pull back is apparent when you notice you're stuck in the mud source absolutely. First, we do need to recognize like you said these kids are not adults they are not adults and we can't expect them to think like adults. It is our job to train them up to be wise adults.

But then there yet and Proverbs tells us folly is bound up in the heart of a child. That means that that's part of their natural state, so are we going to break them for that. Were we going to help nurture their positive qualities into maturity. Yes and I were talking but I believe it when we have not handled our parenting well when we have those blunders of those mom fails, I like to call them and I have had so many and the pain is real. It's on both sides were both wallowing in pain and disappointment and regret, so start. We need to start by humbling ourselves and recognizing that we did not handle that well and then acknowledge the mistake acknowledged our own mistake in the child's right so I needed to acknowledge I should not have come down on you so hard about this GOP. I recognize that it was you were excited about it and I should been excited about it for you and then I need to apologize to my daughter and ask for forgiveness and apologizing to our kids does not show weakness apologizing shows them that we rely on Jesus just as we want them to. In fact, I think it gives them a greater opportunity to know the Lord then if we had asked expect perfection from them and from ourselves. So we've got to ask for that forgiveness is a degree of holding the child responsible because it's not a get out of jail free card either because she did have a responsibility in the situation to prepare for the GOP.

My responsibility was to respond to that situation with more grace and more kindness and I didn't handle it well so but I told her I said all right, so you didn't prepare. But I want you to be responsible for let's work on the solution together.

That's only brainstorm solutions together and that's how we came up with the study party and said let's make it fun. But most importantly, in those moments, if we've had a mom failer dad fail. We have got to remind our children that they are loved because the last thing I want is for my kids to think that God's love for them is dependent on their performance and if I modeling that for them. It's can be harder for them to believe that God loves them just the way they are.

If mom only loves you when you do things right. Let me ask you this. I think one of the challenges many parents face is learning to respect your child because we get in the mentality they know nothing, and we know everything and sometimes that's true oftentimes that's true is apparent, but sometimes is not true and you need to learn how to respect your child is there, getting older, etc. if you do that, that's the other element of having a really good parenting experience love and respect of your children, how do you get into that spot to respect them.

How do you make room for that of a storyline. I have a lot of start if I don't do well, but I promise there is that our children belong to God. Just like we do, and they have inherent value was people and it can become very easy as a parent to treat them like second-class citizens in our homes because we are the adults and were wiser and so I fall into the trap of snapping at my kids to follow my commands without respecting their time or expecting them to know what I know, without realizing that because you wait a second you're 14, you're not gonna know what I know is a 40 something right so I think the first key to that is first of all, communicating with our children and remembering that they are not. They are not adults they're not think like we do. But then we have to endeavor to think like our children, but requires actually knowing who our children are so we have to go through the journey of really unearthing who they are. What are their interests who did God create them to be in that person is going to be different from who we are and maybe even different from who we originally expected. They were going to be so identify who God created and nurture that person. But then I also like to engage in some really practical tips for how to respect her kids and one of my favorites is first of all, don't make them a slave. I used to do this so here's what Yvette said that sounded like years ago. I still remember one day when this really came into focus for me.

Clara was seven and she gotten old enough to learn how to clean the house and she thought it was fun so she came clean the bathroom today and I guess I am well absolutely you can help. So here's the scrub brush and so she would help me clean and then he got to the point where I would say thank you so much. Now will you sweep the floor and then will you feed your sister snack and will you work on her alphabet with her to sit here just relax right in. Crack open a soda while I watch you do my job. But that's not the right attitude to have toward kids either they're not. They don't exist to take over our job in all aspects, although when we do get older they can take over there on laundry and that is a big advocate for general are we treating our kids like they exist to meet your every command or are we. Understanding that they also they desire and they deserve under God the respective being individuals. Individuals and I also encourage parents to give a five minute warning before you tell your kids before it's time to go to the library or it's time to get your shoes on for school. It's time to wash her hands for dinner.

It's whatever it may be a five minute warning. And I learned this because my husband did not do that for me I would get so upset he would be out the garage this time to time.

No welcome five minute warning because I don't have my socks on. Yet you know the kids are half dressed in either pancakes, a five minute warning. Please would help us to be to synchronize our clocks to yours and it would frustrate me so much and I recognized I was doing the very same thing to my kids get the shoes on, let's get out the door school, put that game on somebody five minutes ago and empowers them to obey because I want to obey you but it's hard for them to switch gears on a course room is a five minutes later say okay by two more minutes, but you have another after Becky is winding up here, you've created three rules. I love the bricks. Got a little uncomfortable but three rules for your family that you lean into one of the three yet three rules and I don't take credit for this. I got it from a friend but it works wonders three rules that encompass all the little rules all in one. So number one. Obey the first time or for small kids obey fast becomes again obey fast because delayed obedience is disobedience to obey the first time and secondly is no disrespectful talk or no backtalk.

Use whatever language works for you so that we we are following God's admonishment to us to speak only wholesome language to another, build one another up so no disrespectful talk and then no hurting someone on purpose, and the reason I love that because is because it encompasses not just visible harm, but emotional harm. So don't take your sister also. Don't ignore your sister you don't push your sister off that sled hill but also don't call your sister that name so those three rules together encompass old rules because otherwise my husband and I at one point had so many different rules for our children that even we couldn't remember what they were. We have on a scroll whatever viewpoint is the way to I can remember the kids and what the family rules are when they have some sort of misdemeanor. All you have to do is point and say which one did you disobey, and that really sets up the right environment for the child. I'm thinking of the mom listening right now this is that were out after this, but that mom this going a great I'm not there. I am the triggered mom and everything is triggering me right now and I don't really know what to do on the monster mom what advice you have for her first step to get some sanity back into her life and my heart goes out to that mom have been there.

I meet so many of those moms in my first piece of advice is to stop beating yourself up except God's grace for who you are, the mistakes you make, because if you're not can accept that you'll never be able to share it with your children so recognized that your performance is a mom is not what defines who your children become God's got that controlled already and thanks endeavor to go through the steps of identifying who your enemy really is your own heart. It's not your kids and then learn to communicate with them at their level and discipline with grace create the kind of fun environment for your kids go through those steps after you first forgiven yourself and given yourself a little bit of a break Becky that is great am I so appreciate what you've done here this wonderful book the cranky mom fix their husbands don't buy this and put a treadmill for Christmas is not your the broadcast and your wife may want to say you should listen folks to something a little more low-key together. That's good, but it is so good and were here for you if you have no some concerns are there things going on caring Christian counselors we can help you that you and Collison, though most likely have to call you back because there usually no backwater on the phone talking. Also, we have a wonderful parenting assessment. It will show you seven traits of effective parenting and build a point to the good things you're doing and maybe the things you need to improve on and Leslie that we believe in Becky's book and if you can give a gift to Focus on the Family of any amount will send you a copy is always saying thank you for being part of the ministry when I can keep a file on your cranky mom this anonymous Becky Nitschke from Wisconsin job. Thank you so much for being with us.

Thank you so much for having me will get in touch today if we can help in any way you want talk one of those counselors or a take that assessment or donate and get your copy of Becky's great book cranky mom fix were phone call away 880 family or click the link in the episode's on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team.

Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back once again help you and your family thrive in Christ and I knew my marriage was falling apart. I just did not affix.

I felt like I would always be alone even if I stayed married at Focus on the Family's hope restored marriage intensive. We offer hope to couples in crisis so they can have the marriage they always dreamed of. For the first time I felt like my husband truly heard me. I received some great tools from the counselors of change my life and my marriage to begin the journey of finding health go to hope today

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