Angry Brother vs. Strong Champion

The conversation with my son “Frog” started with intense frustration, desperation, and a good amount of anger.  Yes, I know… a key indicator that you are not in a place to handle a situation with your kid is when you are angry.  The thought did, in fact, cross my mind that I should have him sit down somewhere and I go somewhere else and calm down and pray.  But I didn’t.  And while he explained his reasoning for why he hit his brother (again), I was so incredibly frustrated because we’ve had this converation over and over and over and over!

GOD!  WHAT IS WRONG?  WHY ISN’T HE GETTING IT?  WHAT DO I SAY TO HIM TO MAKE HIM SEE THE NEED TO CHANGE, AND THEN REMEMBER IT WHEN HE’S IN THE MIDDLE OF HIS OWN FRUSTRATION??? HELP!!

Barely holding on to my ability to listen to him, I try to also have the ability to listen to the Holy Spirit so I can catch on to any new idea He brings my way (don’t tell me you don’t have those days that you have been pushed so far you can hardly even think anymore… nothing seems to work anyway!)  HELP, GOD!  HELP!  My prayers were not well thought out… nothing super-spiritual about it.  But He heard my heart, and the inner groaning of a mother’s despair at getting through to her treasured child.  And unaware that He was already at work, I started explaining to Frog that he and his brother “Monkey” are different.

I’ve never had this conversation with any of my kids before.  I don’t know why… I guess it’s just never come up.  But I visually explained to him with gestures, big facial expressions that made him laugh, and words that he apparently understood that Monkey’s feelings are a lot bigger than his.  Monkey’s feelings are so big, in fact, that it’s hard for him to contain them in his little body.  He has been learning his whole life to have some measure of control, but when his feelings get too strong, he can hardly contain them within his frame and they start shooting out in ways he doesn’t probably even intend.  Monkey has been learning so much in the last few months, and is really doing so much better at trying to communicate with reasonable conversation.  But I tell you what, you ignore him, and those emotions go into hyper-overload.  I am not exaggerating.  HYPER-overload.

Monkey is the sweetest, most lovable little guy you could meet.  My little cuddle-bear!  His love drips from his lips as he compliments and esteems us all day long.  But you cross that little boy, and tell him something that he doesn’t want to hear and his little Me-Monster jumps into overdrive and he can barrel down almost any unsuspecting adult.  He brings one of the greatest adventures to our lives!

Frog has a tendency to feel like he can always do what he wants.  Many times, his ideas are the most fun, and with his persuasive personality he typically finds it easy to direct the flow of events.  Monkey, however, sometimes has a mind of his own and when Frog tries to manipulate by ignoring little Monkey and proceeding with his plans… well… you can imagine the fallout.

So back to my conversation… I explained to Frog how God made no mistake by putting such a capable, understanding loving boy as the oldest of our troup.  God knew that Frog would be fully able to come alongside Monkey and help him.  Help Monkey learn to control his feelings and to channel them in a productive way.  The ways he can help, are to listen to Monkey;  let Monkey know that his feelings are important;  look for ways to teach him new things;  include him.  Frog seemed to understand.  If my brain was not too addled at the time, I believe I even remember Frog thanking me for explaining all this to him.  So after instructing him to go apologize to  Monkey for ignoring him, Frog spent the rest of the day bringing peace to our home.

Yes, peace.  My sweet Frog now had a motivation for being a true friend and brother to Monkey, because the Holy Spirit revealed to him that his brother is not only different than himself, but also containing extreme emotions that neither he nor I fully understand.  But it is what it is.  And as Frog has been championing Monkey (and even helping me to deal with him better), Monkey has started championing Frog.  What a delight for this Mommy to see!

And I have to admit – the visual explanation I gave Frog has also been helping me to see Monkey differently as well.  But having Frog on my side has been the most tremendous help of all.

THANK YOU, GOD!  I REALLY NEEDED YOU TODAY.

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One Response to “Angry Brother vs. Strong Champion”

  1. How incredible! What amazing insight the Lord gave you. I love how you were able to get Frog on your side (and on Monkey’s side too). What wisdom! I will be considering how I can apply this concept to my little ducklings.

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