Here is one difficulty that I am interesting in understanding better and resolving:
David (30 months) cries often. His tearfulness does increase with fatigue. He cries when he doesn’t get his way. He cries when something disappointing happens (like friends leaving). He cries when he wants something he can’t have (like a toy Bethel is playing with). He cries when he is misunderstood.
I can’t decide if it is primarily developmental or evidence of sin nature that should be extinguished quickly. Sometimes I think it is both. We obviously don’t give him his own way. In most cases he can turn off the crying with threat of punishment. I suppose that if I deal with the crying by threatening punishment, then I should probably simply execute the punishment. (incidently, we do discipline for more blatant expressions of anger: throwing things, hitting people or things, kicking people or things, etc.)
Typically, I tell David to go to his bedroom until he can be happy. This actually works quite well. He even puts himself into the bedroom and comes out within 3 minutes generally cheerful. The trouble is that he’ll go to his bedroom multiple (over 10?) times in a day some days. I don’t see this approach reducing the crying behavior. But if the problem is primarily developmental, it should diminish as he gains maturity.
So… I would like to think through this biblically. Any biblical principles apply? Do we see any precedent for this behavior in any Bible people? Or should I just ask God for the common sense to evaluate the behavior and figure out how to deal with it? Maybe I need to examine my motives in my response: anger, fear, or laziness should not be motivating my discipline behavior. I’ll sleep on it and come back to this. No worries, the challenge will still be there when I come back to it.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll log what he cries for and when. That might help.