As our daughter is nearing the age of two, she is starting to test limits and assert her independence. It’s a great age because she is learning new things everyday and loves life. At the same time, there are days where I just shake my head and say “God, give me patience.” According to my mom, I had my share of tantrums and crying fits when I was Izzy’s age. So I’m not really surprised that she gets upset when we have to come in from outside (even when given multiple warnings it’s going to happen). At the same time, I need to do things to remain calm and find peace in our home.
As a school psychologist I loved using cognitive behavior therapy with my students. The idea is that your thoughts, behaviors and feelings are all connected. If you change your thoughts you can change your feelings and your actions. When Izzy starts crying and I start thinking “I can’t take this anymore, I’m going to scream” or “JUST BE QUIET,” I know I need to take control of my thoughts. I don’t want to yell at her in anger and I don’t want to say something I am going to regret. At the same time I don’t want her to think she rules the house and can get whatever she wants.
As soon as a negative or angry thought pops in your head you need to hold it captive and stop it.
It has to stop immediately. If it doesn’t, your thoughts will continue to fuel each other and you may get even more upset. At least this is what happens to me. When I recognize my negative thinking I try to do something immediately to change it. Something that has worked for me is singing. When I start singing I feel calmer and I regain my sanity. Our daughter also loves music so sometimes it calms her down as well. Remember you can change the atmosphere of your home. Just because my toddler is having a tantrum doesn’t mean I can’t have peace. Another great thing to do to find peace in your home is to memorize scripture.
Here are some of my favorite scriptures on peace:
- You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)
- Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27 (NKJV)
- Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6 (NIV)
- The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace. Psalm 29:11 (NLT)
- For the mountains shall depart And the hills be removed, But My kindness shall not depart from you, Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,”Says the Lord, who has mercy on you. Isaiah 54:10 (NKJV)
So when you feel anxious, frustrated or mad pray, sing and keep your mind on Jesus. He will hear our requests and he will give us the perfect peace we need.