I know what I am going to do when I am done raising my kids. I am going to become a detective or work for the FBI in the behavioral analysis unit. I am being trained right now, honing my detective skills with my children. They are extremely helpful, supplying me with mysteries to solve in abundance.
Like, “The Mystery of the Potato Chip Under the Clean Towels in My Bathroom.” Or, “The Mystery of The Missing Chocolate Chips.” Now honestly, I probably wouldn’t be able to tell someone was a psychotic killer, but I would know by the way their eye twitched that they didn’t hang up their bath towel that morning!
In reality, all mothers have to be detectives. From trying to figure out who did what, to locating all kinds of missing items. One of our biggest jobs though, is detecting the potential in our kids. Looking past tantrums or attitudes to what is underneath, just waiting to bloom.
I have to detect whether someone’s attitude is due to lack of sleep, hunger, hormones or hurt feelings. Then when I think I know the cause I have to ask careful questions to get to the root. When the children are young the remedy is usually easier, a snack or a nap can work wonders. Now that half of my children are in the turbulent time of pre-teen and teen years, the remedies can be more challenging. I find myself doing a lot more listening and empathizing. This is a rewarding time as well though, because I am beginning to see them coming into their own as people.
I know it can be challenging day after day to look beyond the fits or the disobedience and see what is underneath. Hang in there, the rewards will come. I cannot guarantee that every mystery will be solved, (the potato chip thing is still baffling me!) but I can guarantee that it is worth our time to really look inside our children, to detect the people just waiting to be found.
“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” I Samuel 16:7
Agatha Christie, my favorite mystery author!