Hope for the Not So Strong-Willed Mom

I answered the phone one Friday in May, just six days before school was out, and heard my tenth grade son’s history teacher say,

“Mrs.  Rothschild.” (It’s never a good sign when a phone call begins with Mrs.) “Your son, Clayton, has a 69 in my class. He’s so bright and I know he can do better… I thought you could encourage him.”

Oh, yes. I was ready to “encourage” him!


I was upset, panicked, and feeling guilty that I hadn’t been more alert. I was a mixed up mess of emotions.

I called my husband Phil and told him. He responded with the same set of emotions and desire to “encourage” Clayton!

“I will handle it, Honey” I urged. “I really need to be strong!”

Now, if you are a strong-willed mom, you may not understand why I said that to my husband. But, here’s the deal. Clayton was a strong-willed child, but I wasn’t a strong-willed mom.

During his teen years, I had been inconsistent and given in way-too-easily.

This was a chance for me to be strong.

Phil agreed and so when my high school sophomore got home, I welcomed him with the unwelcome news that his teacher had called. I told him he would have lots of time to bring up his grade because he was grounded until school was out. He didn’t argue and went to his room.

Score! That was easy. Really?

My strength gives my children security.
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Four days later, he announced at 6:45 that he was leaving for his Bible study. “No, remember, you’re grounded until school is out.”

You can imagine how the conversation went from there. To sum it up:

My consistency gives my children comfort.
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Mom: You can’t go, you’re grounded…

Clay: I’ve got responsibilities…

Mom: You also have consequences…

Clay: But, I’m leading it…

Mom: Find a sub…

Clay: It starts at 7:00. There’s not enough time to find a sub, besides, it’s Bible Study. I can’t believe you’re doing this!…

Mom (with shaky confidence, weakening resolve, and growing guilt): You are grounded…

Clay: You can’t keep me from my responsibilities…

Mom: Grounded means grounded. You cannot go. Find a sub. I am going on a walk with your Dad…

Our kids need us to be strong and kind, consistent and full of grace.
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Before Clay could respond, I opened the front door to walk with Phil. Battle fatigue and self-doubt washed over me. I told Phil, “we are in for an explosion… things are going to be hot in our house tonight!”

Clay didn’t speak when we returned and I didn’t force him too. After a little bit, I asked if he found a sub and he calmly told me he did.

Joshua 1:9-Be strong and of good courage… for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
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Like a time bomb, the evening minutes ticked away, yet, no explosions. I was confused.

Then, he came downstairs where we were watching TV and engaged in mature, civilized, respectful conversation. “Who are you, and what did you do with my son?” I wondered.

Our son Clayton has always been respectful to me, but, this night, I did expect his fury to override his respectfulness. But, it didn’t. The anger he would have felt over me being weak and waffling would have been far greater than the anger he felt over not being allowed to go to Bible Study.

My strength gave him security.

My consistency gave him comfort.

Mom, our kids need us to be strong and kind; consistent and full of grace.

Strength and consistency help them feel secure.

The Lord is with you and He is for you.
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So, even if you’re not a strong-willed mom, you can be strong for your kids. They need your consistent, loving strength in their lives.

In fact, Joshua 1:9 puts it this way, “Be strong and of good courage… for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Mom, even if you feel like you are going into battle with your child, remember, you are battling “for” your child! You can be strong because the Lord is with you.

He is not only with you, He is for you and your child.

So, be strong in the strength of the Lord!

And, may I also add that the tenth grader did bring up his history grade and grew up to graduate with honors from Baylor University! He is an amazing godly man who loves the Lord and loves his wife and yes… loves his mom too!

Do you have trouble being strong and consistent with your children? Write a prayer of strength and courage in the comments below.

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