Is there a moment in each day when you take time to consider how lovely and beautiful your kids are? I don't do this enough but lately I have been thinking so much about appreciating the good in my children, even when they are doing "bad things" or being messy. Part of the reason I've been thinking about this is that as part of my class assignments I have been considering my own childhood and the things about my childhood that shaped who I am today. There are qualities of mine that made for a challenging child but I wouldn't be me if I didn't sneak into my mom's cabinets for lipstick and nail polish or make a mess in the kitchen because I wanted to "make" something.
My desire for my children is that they learn to love the unique parts of themselves so that they can flourish into the beautiful people that God created them to be. Sometimes that means taking a deep breath and realizing that, while it may be messy, annoying, frustrating, down right bang your head aggravating, kids are kids. They do things to explore and discover who they are and what they are good at. Life is just one big lesson and what good would those lessons be if we never made a mess or missed the mark. Sometimes the best parts of life are the unexpected discoveries.
Next time you are getting ready to lose your temper or face a challenge with your kids ask yourself, is he just being a kid or is he being rebellious. I bet most of the time the answer will the the former. If it is just childish behavior use it as a lesson and not a punishment. Grace and understanding goes a long way to build trust and respect in a parent/child or even student/teacher relationship.
And for a fun "messy" project to do with your kids check out Darling Clementine's Messy Outdoor Art