People are constantly telling me how much my daughter is like me. And it's absolutely true. She looks like me, has a strong-will like me, is very verbal, and loves music. Since my daughter has turned two, I cannot count how many well meaning people have told me that my daughter is "paying me back" for how I was as a child. I can't seem to get her to be quiet when we pray at church, so people tell me "Well, that's just payback." She throws a fit; "Welcome to payback." She tells me "no;" "That's payback for you!" It's a common phrase that gets thrown at parents. I understand that these well meaning people are really trying to say, "Wow, you must have your hands full." But for a moment, can we just think about what is really being communicated. What is really being implied is that my daughter is my punishment for my toddler/childhood/teenage bad behavior.
This is not how I view my child.
Yes, at times she is difficult. Yes, at times she screams and cries. Yes, at times she and I go to battle. But she is two. Welcome to toddlers. God did not give me this child to punish me or to make me realize that I made my parents' lives difficult. If my son doesn't sleep for months after he is born, it wont be because God is paying me back for having colic as a newborn. God gave me these children as a blessing.
Psalm 127:3 states, "Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward." This doesn't exactly sound like "payback" or punishment to me.
Yes, I realize that I have probably taken this too personally, but it is my fear that my childhood anger will be imposed on my daughter. I fear that because she is like me that people will assume that she is going to fall into the same sins I did. So being told that she is "payback" reinforces those fears.
So here is my request: when speaking to parents about their children, can we just ask ourselves a few questions.
- Is this encouraging?
- Is this beneficial?
- If not, does it even need to be said?
*Sigh* End rant.