Friday, April 20, 2012

Little girl lost

Nothing like a little personal grief and heartache to inspire my first post in over a year. I can honestly say over a year because when I just checked my blog I realized my last one was exactly one year and one day ago.

Yesterday, April 19, 2012, was one of the most difficult days I have lived through thus far in my relatively young life. It started when I saw my 16-year-old daughter Linnea in the morning. She wouldn't look me in the face, and she wouldn't talk to me or acknowledge my presence in any way. She completely ignored two direct questions.

The evening before, she had been told not to go to track after school at all for the next two weeks, but to come straight home and be home by 2:30 p.m. The evening before that, she and two of our other kids had been grounded from all electronic privileges and from sleepover privileges... Phones, movies, video games, MP3 players, staying the night at friend's houses, and having friends stay the night here.

This was brought on by a long season of them all getting more and more lax about their chores and following our household rules. Several weeks (or has it been months?) ago, we sat down with the kids and told them we were done nagging them. That they needed to help each other and work as a team to get their chores done, keep their grades up, and honor the household rules, and that if that didn't happen, we'd be moving to Plan B. We told them none of them would like Plan B very much, so it was in everyone's best interest that we all be responsible and accountable and self-disciplined (as much as possible for our flawed human selves).

Tuesday, April 17, 2012, was the day we put Plan B into action. Apparently Linnea didn't like it too well. I have to say Megan and Stephen rose to the challenges admirably and have been working hard to earn back their lost privileges, which we said could be earned back one at a time, one week at a time, by their being responsible to keep themselves on track without us having to nag them.

Will parenting ever be easy? There are a handful of people in the world who have the ability to rip my guts out, and most of them reside in this house. Dear Lord, please guide our steps and show us the way, by Your grace, and for Your honor and glory!