The list, for three children ages nearly 6, 4 1/2, and 2 1/2.
Whining– I think it’s getting better, but maybe that’s just because I’m on it more. Or maybe in another week, I’ll have a low point and be completely overwhelmed with the whining. My biggest challenge right now is responding to the whining calmly but firmly. I’m dealing with it, but missing the calm part, to some degree. I hear my tone reproduced in my children, and I don’t like it.
I’ve just noticed this, and it seems terrible among all children. I know part of the problem is that I have a habit of interrupting. I’ve been consciously working on it. It’s a good thing to work on.
We’re still working on obedience, and I suspect we will be in some form or another for a very long time. Right now with my youngest (2 1/2 years), it seems she’s testing how alert mom is going to be when she doesn’t obey. This is a hard one, because it means that I have to be AWARE that my children haven’t obeyed, and sadly, I’m not always aware.
With the older children, I’ve bee trying to help them understand that they don’t have to agree or understand to obey. My almost six year old tends to have good reasons for not obeying. Overall, though, he does obey well.
Fairness– We’ve had some major discussion and teaching here. Basically, I’m trying to get them to understand that they have to obey first, whether it seems fair or not. If they’re concerned about fairness, they may appeal after they have obeyed. Related– working on Laurel and Bethel to APPEAL with a question before obeying “May I finish…?” instead of “I’m going to finish…” I was excited because Bethel made a request without my prompting. This was exciting because it seems like I’m walking them through every good thing right now, and it gets wearisome. I’m thankful for the glimmers of hope.
Work– I’m still dealing with a reluctance to work. I’m quite satisfied with requiring work before mealtimes, although frankly, I often forget and let them eat before chores or done or toys picked up. Eating is good motivation for work. I have an epiphany about work that I’ll share tomorrow. I promise.
Being Nice– I’ve seen some progress. This evening I pointed out to David that his soft answer [unprompted] to Laurel stopped her anger and whining. Laurel and Bethel by virtue of growing older are playing better together. They seem to understand that teasing should stop when the other person isn’t having fun (although that doesn’t mean we don’t have teasing and tears).
I can relate to some but not all of these things, since Sloane is only a year and a half (I’m sure I’ll be seeing all of these soon, though). One that I certainly know is how Sloane will test how alert I am when she doesn’t obey. I know this can get tiresome, but I want to encourage you to keep at it; it will produce a great fruit in her. Something that keeps me focused is thinking about how God is consistent in pruning us, and it is really an act of love. While I may find it easy to love Sloane in other ways, like hugging her or reading to her, helping her obey is truly another form of love to her, but it isn’t always fun.
Thanks, Monica, for these thoughts. Not becoming weary in the obedience lessons is one way I can deliberately love my children. The world doesn’t see it this way, and doesn’t value the effort it takes. You are right that God promises fruit of well doing if we do not faint! Hurray!
Boy, we are dealing with each and every one of these things, too. It’s encouraging to me today to see this list written out…by someone other than myself! 🙂
I know what you mean. It’s encouraging to remember that much of our challenges are in part bumpy developmental stages that we navigate. This gives me hope to not be weary in well doing. Thanks for the feedback!