Monday, February 7, 2011

Character Training~ Part 2

I was at the mall this weekend and because of my pregnancy starting to slow me down a touch when it comes to walking around, I sat while my girls were off looking at clothes.  In about 30 minutes I observed WAY more then I cared to watching parents with their children.  No wonder I get the comments I do about having so many children and why people think one or two is enough!  I would not want to go home with children who act like that either!  I by NO means claim to be a perfect parent and my children misbehave and corrections must be made.  However, I have rarely had problems in public places because the training begins at home.  Please DO NOT attemt to make changes for the first time when out in a public place!  It will not be productive and will more than likely backfire only making the problem worse and causing more of a scene.  If you see a problem while out and about, take note and get a plan of action and implement it in your own home first. 

With that being said, one of the first things I observed this past weekend was the parents inability to follow through with their own "threats".  A mother was dealing with a screaming 3-4 year old, and told him if he did not stop, she would take away his ice-cream.  He continued to scream.  So she took the ice-cream away.  Great!  Well, not really!  She gave it right back.  Minutes later, he began to act up again.  She threatened once again to take away the ice-cream this time she stated she would just throw it away.  He continued to throw a fit.  This went on for at least 5 times.  She never did through it away.  She kept giving it back to him and he continued with his disruptive behavior.  They walked away with him screaming with the ice-cream in his hand.  Both of them at their wits end.  DO NOT make a threat you are not willing to immediately follow through with.  If you say you are going to do it, DO IT!  It will not take more than 1 or 2 times for your child to realize you mean business!  Please do your child a favor and never use counting as a means to obedience!  Demand instant obedience every time!  Believe me, if you use the #3, they will wait until the #3 to obey.  That is not the goal!  If a child is in a dangerous situation, you are not going to count to 3 before they have to listen.  You will want instant obedience.  Always require it. 

In a nutshell:
  • Don't make threats in anger or in the heat of the moment
  • Follow through even if you regret the consequence, learn from it
  • Never count when requiring obedience, demand it the first time
  • Don't implement something for the first time out in public. 

Our children have missed out on many things because of consequences of misbehavior.  It is so hard to follow through but believe me, it will pay off!  We went to a friend's house when my oldest was young and he did not follow through on a responsibility he had to do before we left.  So I told him he had to sit the entire time at their house and could not get up and play because he did not do what he was told.  We got there, and I looked over at him sitting watching all the other kids playing.  I was literally in tears wanting to go back on my word and give another consequence when we got home. I had wished I would have given not quite so harsh a punishment.  I was talking to my friend and telling her how hard it was!  She in all of her wisdom, said to me, "It has eternal value!  Don't look at the here and now, think of it as training for eternity!"  That made an impact on me I have NEVER forgotten!   I talked with him about it when we got home, prayed with him and gave him a big hug!  The next time we went somewhere, he knew he better get his stuff done and he did!  But boy was it hard at the time!  Hopefully later in life, when his wife asks him to do something he will realize it is important to her and he will follow through.  The same goes for the direction of his heavenly Father.  It seems extreme, but that is what character training is all about.  Doing it while they are young, so when they are old, they will not depart from it!

This parenting thing is SO hard sometimes!  They start out as clean slates and the minute they are are laid in our arms the training begins!  It starts with sleep training and feedings and takes off from there.  The flesh is a terrible thing!  They don't need to be taught to give into it!  It is up to us to allow God to show and direct us in the way we should train them to not give into the flesh.  He does not expect us to know it all!  Our dependancy must be on Him and He must be our example!  We will make mistakes and that is okay!  We will lose our temper, our patience will be tested daily, and we will not do things perfectly everytime.  But He will give us wisdom and understanding if we ask.  Our children crave discipline and boundries from us from the time they are babies until they leave our home.   It is up to us, to seek direction and follow through. Keep praying and obeying and He will see you through!



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