I need to pray more.
I mean, I do, of course, but at best it's sporadic instead of consistent and intentional (like a good habit should be). I need to pray more specifically (and regularly) regarding Annelise's behavior, her attitude, my attitude and our relationship in general.
I want to praise her strengths, positive character qualities and choices more instead of what feels like constantly dealing with negative behaviors or choices, I feel like I am too often playing defense instead of offense and that needs to change.
She is independent, strong willed and opinionated, none of which is a bad quality, but we are working (struggling with) on her expressing those character traits in the proper way. We're dealing with tone of voice (sassiness), talking back, attitude (complaining or emoting) and prompt obedience all of which stem from respect, self-control and well, willingness to obey.
Not that these behaviors are constant but they have been recurring often enough that I am desperate to see improvement. When we hear sassiness or talking back, etc. we call her on it, talk about it and remind her to speak nicely, don't argue, blah, blah, blah (and I say blah, blah, blah because that's what it sounds like to me and probably to her because it's happening at some point almost every day).
There are always flare ups after she's watched Disney or other *kids* shows, so those are off limits again (why do they ever come back? I'm weak I guess).
She's lost almost all privileges over the last few weeks and this morning she lost watching Duck Dynasty until further notice. We've reviewed different scriptures (she's even had to write some out) and talked again and again about respect.
But I'm not seeing improvement, or when I do it's fleeting (one step forward, three steps back). Are my expectations too high? Ouch. Maybe. Is it because I'm trying too hard to correct instead of model? Ouch. Maybe. I'm working on my tone and attitude (this is ongoing, y'all) as well. I'm also trying to praise her good choices and behaviors instead of criticizing, yet still be consistent with reminding/redirecting her when disrespect raises its ugly head.
So now that I'm at what feels like my wits end I'm turning to my scriptures and more prayer.
Which is what I should have done first.
I'm going to choose a few scriptures that relate to these issues we're having and pray them over her (well, for her). I'm also committing to pray more in general and maybe even with her about all of these things.
My goal is not perfection but to make imperfect progress.
I'm confident that God can work this out.