Monday, May 19, 2014
It's Okay If Your Kids Are Hyper
I didn't know whether to scream or cry Sunday night when my kids were back and forth between the church pews. No matter how many times I told them to "sit still and be quiet!" they stood up and sat down, talked out loud, and ventured into the aisles. I was so embarrassed. I looked around at everyone else's kids and though they weren't perfect, they were calm. You could hand them a pen and paper or a silenced iPhone and they would sit quietly. Not mine. (I needed seat belts and muzzles.)
Our church had recently started holding monthly praise and worship services, but they didn't include a nursery or children's classes, so before this week we had never gone. My worst fears were confirmed Sunday when our kids' disruptive talking, moving and crying forced us to pack up and sneak out early. It was pointless...
As we stepped into the parking lot, the kids headed straight for the rain puddles, not the Tahoe. I yelled at them. I threatened them. I told them they had been terrible. And then their daddy put me in my place.
"They're not bad kids," he said. "They just can't be still. They're just like me when I was a kid."
He went on to explain that he would get so hurt and upset as a child because of the way people would treat him and the things they would say. They'd say he was bad or wild or needed to be on medication. And the truth is he was just hyper. He was just a kid.
This was foreign to me. I was the kid who sat and drew quietly throughout an entire church service and never made a peep. I sat still in one chair and watched whole movies and never got in trouble at school. I was different from them.
But hearing straight from the source how hurtful it was for my husband as a child to feel like something was wrong with him for being active put things in perspective for me. He is still "hyper" in a sense. He can't sit still. He always has to be doing something. But he grew up to be a hard-working, productive man, husband and father. He always did well in school. He earned a degree. And he is a successful firefighter and EMT. In fact his "hyper" personality is a perfect fit for his career.
My kids aren't bad. They're just hyper. And it's ok if they can't sit still in church like other kids. They thrive in their children's classes and always come home telling me what they've learned. God made them the way He did for a reason, and I must trust that He didn't make a mistake. Their hyper personalities are not a result of bad parenting and I shouldn't get embarrassed about them not sitting still.
They are their daddy's daughters. They are intelligent, creative and kind, but they're also hyper.
And I'm realizing that it's ok.
This is my third post in my series "It's Okay If..." running Tuesdays this month. This series is a joint effort with my friend Amanda Farris, whose post today is "It's Okay If You're Not Using Your Degree Right Now." She has such wise insight and is encouraging moms to make the most important things the most important things! If you missed any of the previous posts in our series, click below.
"It's Okay If Your Life Isn't a Facebook Fairy Tale" -- me
"It's Okay If You Don't Have What Your Grandparents Have Right Now" -- Amanda Farris
"It's Okay If Your Kids Eat Pizza Once a Week" -- me
"It's Okay If You Let Your Kids Pick Out Their Clothes" -- Amanda Farris
Also congrats to Audrey Mitchell! You are the winner of my "The Story of Jesus" children's book. I'll contact you about claiming your prize.