My 7-year old almost went to bed without a kiss from me tonight.
I was so frustrated with him that I probably could have screamed for 5 minutes. He did not want to take a shower before bed - we had gone swimming earlier and tomorrow we have church early in the morning. I encouraged him nicely, again and again. He kept saying, "I need to do some stuff, but I'm gonna do it." After he responded to me with that about 20 times and an hour had passed, I put him on time-out. Afterwards, he got up and said he would go and do just one thing first, and then shower... but he didn't quite make it there. I needed to get the other kids in bed. I couldn't wait for him, or play his games any longer. I started to ignore his constant questions. He knew that I was upset. He put himself to bed.
I almost didn't go in to give him a kiss goodnight, but then decided to do it quickly. Immediately he said, "Mom, I'm sorry. Good night. I love you." He sounded sorry. He looked sorry. But my heart was still upset. Sometimes I feel like it is one thousand times easier to ask to be forgiven than it is to forgive. But, I'm The Mom. Shouldn't I be able to forgive easily, and extend love with patience as my kids grow and decide what kind of people they want to be? Isn't it all about being a good example, above all else?