There’s one on every team, in every class, in every Sunday school. #Thatkid who annoys, mocks, and embarrasses. The one who bullies or behaves in a manner that completely defies logic and troubles or terrifies our child with every attendance. Before you know it, each practice can become defined by how #thatkid behaved and treated everyone else.
As a new mom, I hated #thatkid. I hated how he made my daughter feel, how frustrating he was, how #thatkid never got into trouble and yet made everyone in the class miserable.
As an older, a bit more experienced mom I have learned quite a bit about #thatkid. I have learned that while our child may wish, pray, and beg to be put in a different class, on a different team, or in another Sunday school class because of #thatkid… There will only be another #thatkid no matter where our kid gets moved to.
And there is something to be learned from #thatkid.
Our children have to learn how to face conflict. How defend themselves or their friends in class. They have to learn when to turn the other cheek and when to fight back. #Thatkid can actually be one of the best things that happens to our kid!
I have also learned through the years that plenty of times, #thatkid has a lot of issues at home or even disabilities that we may not be aware of. They are facing struggles and crying out for help in a way that bluffs confidence when truly #thatkid’s world is turning upside down and no one even knows it. From personal experience, I can recall a young elementary friend of mine who used to play rough and at times she would have outbursts of anger that included punching a hole through my bedroom wall and knocking me down so hard I lost my breath. Years later I discovered that her father had been abusive. My heart broke for all the times I returned her anger with blows of my own and here she was struggling at home.
May God give us all eyes to see what really is troubling #thatkid. And for the record, never give up hope on #thatkid. I have seen with my own eyes one of the biggest troublemakers turn into best friends with my daughter who was a sworn enemy since the age of five. #Thatkid can make a turnaround! And in the meantime, our kid will have learned plenty about patience, perseverance, dignity, and mercy along the way.
And to those of us parents who happen to be a mom or dad to #thatkid…take heart, keep plodding, praying, working, training, teaching and most importantly LOVING on #thatkid. Eventually, we will see #thatkid turn out pretty darn amazing.