My Child Always Complains

Have you ever felt teth­ered with a short Leash to a whin­ing child?

Richard Fos­ter informed despair­ing parents,Cuban sisters

A dear friend of mine, Lymon James is a radio disc jock­ey. On the radio he’s called “Rhymin’ Lymon.” Lymon has a son, Zachary. One after­noon when Zachary was three years old, Lymon decid­ed to take Zach on an out­ing. They went for some walks and vis­it­ed some shops.

But it was one of those days, when noth­ing seems to go right. Zachary was fuss­ing and fum­ing. Lymon tried every­thing. He tried to dis­ci­pline him, and that didn’t work. He tried to bribe him: he gave him can­dy, and that didn’t work. He did some­saults in the park, and that def­i­nite­ly did­n’t work. Lymon was a renowned radio genius, but the 3 year old was win­ning the bat­tle. Lymon felt deflat­ed. The boy wouldn’t be dis­tract­ed and kept whin­ing and snif­fling for no obvi­ous reason.

Lymon was just about ready to give up on the out­ing when, maybe under some spe­cial inspi­ra­tion, he just scooped up his son Zachary and held him close to his chest, and he start­ed to sing to him, a love song. But he just made it up. The words didn’t rhyme and he sang off key, but he tried to share his love with his son.

He’d sing, “I love you, Zach. I like to play ball with you. It’s fun to see you smile.” Things like that. And Zachary began to calm down, and put his head on his father’s shoul­der. They went from the park to the store and to oth­er places while Lymon kept singing with words that didn’t rhyme and were sung off key, and Zachary kept lis­ten­ing to this strange and exot­ic song. Final­ly, when they were done with the after­noon and went back to the car, Lymon was putting Zachary into the car seat. Zach lift­ed up his head and said, “Sing it to me again, Dad­dy. Sing it to me again.”

Some­times we all need lov­ing par­ent­ing. How can we give love even in the midst of dis­mal dis­cour­age­ment? To keep a pos­i­tive per­spec­tive some­times a par­ent needs the par­ent­ing of a fam­i­ly coun­selor. Maybe the love dit­ty has a dis­so­nant tune but it’s a unique song affirm­ing that we are part of this amaz­ing uni­verse. There is a love song for you and for me if we stop fuss­ing and listen.


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