1. For the Tough Times.
I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel; my heart also instructs me in the right seasons. Pslam 16:7
There is a reason that it’s called the “terrible 2’s”. I dont’ think 2 year olds are terrible, but I do think that this stage has a whole new set of challenges that can be incredibly difficult. There are times you just don’t know what to do, and it is in those times that we must trust the Lord to instruct us and guide us even when we feel like we are in the dark.
2. For the Confusion.
All you need to say is simply ‘yes’ and ‘no’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. Matthew 5:37
The term “indecisive opinionated” would seem like an oxymoron, unless you were referring to a toddler. Here is a brief conversation with a toddler:
Toddler: I want the blue one.
Mom: OK, here you go.
Toddler: NO, I want the red one.
Mom: OK, here is the red one.
Toddler: No I want that one.
Mom: Which one?
Toddler: NO (cries and throws a full on fit while throwing both the blue and red one aside)
It makes no sense. Your toddler wants an opinion but they haven’t quite developed one yet. The real lesson is for us. We must model this for our toddlers, and be consistent. Yes means Yes, and No means No – and we have to mean it. Don’t give in because it’s easy.
3. For Timing.
For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter, though a person may be weighed down by misery. Ecclesiastes 8:6
Timing is crucial. We can’t expect toddlers to behave like older kids. There is a time to learn something and and there is a time to let it go. It’s important to set realistic developmentally appropriate goals for your toddler’s behavior. Set them up to win. Don’t expect your toddler to miss his nap and lunch then behave like an angel while you are trying to get your shopping done. It just won’t work. It is a recipe for disaster. The other facet to timing refers to the phrase we hear repeatedly, “They grow up so quickly.” We know the years fly by, but sometimes the days are long. Before we know it, this season of tantrums and constant “no’s” will pass, and we will find ourselves missing choppy sentences and the cuteness that encompasses the toddler years.
4. For the Crying.
They shall see his face, and his name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: they need to lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever. Revelation 22:4-5
There are no tears in Heaven. Ironically, I thought it was a scripture, but the phrase is based on this passage of scripture. There have been moments when all three of my children have started to cry for different reasons. For instance, an infraction of some sort occurs. The hit child is crying because she is hurt. The child that did the hitting is crying because he knows he is going to get in trouble. And the third child is crying because that’s what everyone else is doing (and they seem to be getting attention), so joining in seems like a logical conclusion to a toddler. Suddenly, my whole crew is crying and I don’t even know why. I’ll admit it, there have been a couple of these moments that I have just joined them . It’s at this moment–that I remember the saying “there will be no tears in Heaven”, and somehow it brings me comfort. There is a lot of crying during the toddler years (some from the toddler) . So when you feel like you can’t take it anymore and you just sit down and cry, just remember, there will be no tears in Heaven. It’s something to look forward to.
5. For the Whining.
Moses heard the whining. All those families whining in front of their tents. God’s anger blazed up. Moses saw that things were in a bad way. Numbers 11:10
Apparently, whining makes God angry too. This doesn’t give us permission to get angry, however it does affirm that whining can be maddening. Sometimes you just feel like you are going to lose it from all the whining and complaining. This scripture also shows that whining and anger make things go in a bad way. My guess is that getting angry probably sounds a bit like whining to God. So do your best to control your anger, and do your best to challenge your children’s whining–it’s just not a good combination.
6. For Patience.
So that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have endurance and patience. Colossians 1:10-11
When you are having trouble controlling your frustration or your anger, remember that true patience comes from Him alone.
7. For Understanding.
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9
Children are born with a sinful nature. It is our responsibility to train them in the way they should go. We have to understand where they are coming from in order to understand where to lead them.
8. For the Anger.
The Lord is slow to anger but great in power. Nahum 1:3
Controlling our anger can be incredibly challenging in this season of tantrums and non-sensical behavior. If we don’t want our children to respond in anger, then we must model self-control as well. However, when there is a power struggle between a toddler’s will and a parent’s will–the parent’s must be greater. When my son exhibits strong willed behavior, I whisper to myself “but my will is stronger than yours”. It’s a gentle reminder to myself to not give into his demands. Don’t let them win the battle.
9. For the Childishness.
When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 1 Corinthians 13:11
“Kids, why are you acting so childish?” Oh, wait….because you are children. All too often we see our children’s behavior through our mature and experienced filter. We forget how curious and how clueless children really are. Something that makes absolutely no sense to an adult, can make complete sense to a child.
10. For Grace
But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus – the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God. Acts 20:24
We were created to be our children’s parents. It is our calling to share the grace of the Lord with our children. We can’t just tell them about the grace of the Lord, but they must see us live in that grace. They need to see us receive grace from Him and extend grace to others (including them).
Next time you find yourself curled up in the corner crying, pulling your hair out, or putting yourself in a time out – just take a moment and receive a little grace. Because this time of toddlerhood is tough, but you will get through it.
What encouraging words have helped you through parenting the toddler stage? Are there any other verses that you have found helpful?