Giving our kids grace
The evening was one of epic meltdowns and temper tantrums.
The older 3 kids had spent most of the day at my sister’s house making Christmas crafts. In a moment of spontaneity, I decided to stop at Chocolate World after leaving her house at 7 pm.
For those of you not familiar with Hershey’s Chocolate World, it is a tourist attraction that has a free ride that explains how they make chocolate. My kids think it is amazing.
They had been asking to go to Chocolate World to see all the Christmas lights and decorations and to see Santa. When we neared the entrance, there was a huge flashing sign that said the parking lot was full. Cue the sobbing. I totally understand the disappointment. I told them I would take them another day in the week when it wasn’t so busy.
Levi never recovered. He proceeded to sob the entire 25-minute drive home — every now and then he kicked one of his siblings just to annoy them. Once we got home, Titus joined him in the meltdown mode because Judah dared to help him unbuckle his seatbelt. He became a full-out temper tantrum of kicking and screaming.
I have very little tolerance for situations like this. In most cases, there are consequences and that is it. That night, I knew everyone was overtired and overstimulated. I also knew they needed more grace.
I ended up hugging Titus while he cried quietly for 10 minutes after his meltdown. Then, I passed him off to Carlos who hugged him some more and put him to bed while I crawled into Levi’s bed and held him.
This is not my usual way of dealing with these kinds of situations but I could sense in the moment that’s what they needed more than anything else. There were still consequences for their behavior, but there was also huge amounts of grace.
I don’t know about you but sometimes, when I am having my own emotional meltdowns, I just want someone to give me that kind of grace. I want my kids to remember my grace in their moments of failure — just like God gives me grace amidst my failures.