More Love, Less Harshness

Riley has been quite sensitive lately which happens to all of us.  It has been about just about everything and I haven't really known what to do about it.  Lots of tears and anger directed toward me in particular.

At dinner tonight she refused to eat her food.  Yes, we have chicken anytizers (like chicken strips but smaller and better tasting than chicken nuggets) and noodles at least once a week.  Yes, we're all kind of tired of it, but it's cheap and has protein.  Jeremy told her that she wouldn't have to ever eat it again.  Which means I'd have to cook her something else whenever we eat it.  I gave him a look like "What?!  No way!"  and said "Thanks a lot, Jeremy!" out loud.  (Nice, I know)

Later as she was crying about it and he had made her some special dipping sauce to eat it with, she was continuing to complain.  I told her to eat it or starve.  That didn't go over well.  She then said she didn't want to be part of the family and that she felt like I didn't want her to live.  I tried to explain that I just knew that her body needed fuel and that since this was what was for dinner, that I was actually just trying to beg her to just eat it... for Pete's sake! (whoever Pete is)

It didn't work very well.  Dinner ended with Julia playing after she had finished her food, Jeremy sitting at the table with Riley as I just couldn't do it any more and as for me, I went to the computer to study for my big tests that happen on Wed. and Thurs. night this week.  Needed a chill out time... studying.

Jeremy gave Riley a really sweet talk about how special she is and how we both love her very much.  Riley cried sweet tears and we both smiled and talked softly to her.  Jeremy was particularly sweet in explaining things to her and reaching out to her.

Later in the night, Riley asked if she could talk to me alone.  I told her that she definitely could.

When it was bedtime, Riley was laying in her room and I came in to lay down next to her to read the Bible.  Before we read, Riley asked if she could tell me things now.  So I told her that it'd be a perfect time.

Riley then went on to talk about her feelings (so precious and insightful and deep for a little seven year old).  She told me that I get too harsh with her and that when I'm too harsh, she feels unloved and not very safe.  She said that she'd like it better if I was harsh with more love in it (she moved her hands to demonstrate what she was saying.  Wish I could demonstrate it on here).  That if I wanted to be harsh, I could add love and say things like "Riley, please don't do that."  And that it'd be better than being only harsh with no love.

She held up her hands and said that we needed more love like this heart (that she made using the shape of her hands).  And that if we didn't have love, our hearts might totally burst like her hands showed when they went apart.  That then there'd be no love.

I told her that I would definitely work on being harsh with lots of love.  And that I was thankful she pointed it out to me so I could work on that.

Then she said that I needed to be more loving to all the people in our family including Daddy.  That at dinnertime, when Jeremy had said she wouldn't have to eat chicken again (that chicken - not all chicken), that I was mean to him and angry at him when I didn't like that he said that.

**Side note: I have to say that I wasn't happy about it.  I didn't yell or start an argument, but let him know I disagreed in front of her thinking she wouldn't really notice.  Children notice everything!!  Everything.  Will need to work on this.

She continued to say that I needed to be more loving.  And that we don't want broken hearts.  Because her heart breaks all the time.

I asked her why her heart breaks and she said that it's because people are mean to her.  That there was a girl who wouldn't share with her today and let her ride a scooter.  That another girl stood up for her and that she wasn't going to be friends with the girl that wouldn't let her ride the scooter.

We talked about giving others another chance; that sometimes people don't mean to be mean - they are just being selfish and not thinking of others and are simply thinking on themselves more.  That the little girl only cared about having another turn on the scooter; not about whether or not Riley had a turn.  That it was selfishness being shown.

We prayed together and read the devotion from Jesus Calling.  Talked about what it meant and how we can trust God.  I find Riley so insightful and emotionally sensitive.

She then went on to ask if she should be a science teacher or a vet.  She can be anything she wants to be!  I have no doubt about that.


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