The other day, my son had a problem with complaining. From the time he woke up, nothing pleased him. By the time we were in the car to run some errands, I realized the complaining wasn’t going to stop unless I said or did something.
I attempted to explain why complaining (about everything) was such a serious offense against God. When I paused and looked back in my rear view mirror, he was covering his ears.
Perhaps I was talking too much. Perhaps I should have been questioning, but I don’t think questioning would have been effective this time.
Perhaps it is time for another breakfast talk about complaining. I’ll probably ask them if they can remember any Bible stories or people about complaining and see what they say. I’ll ask them what the Bible says about God’s provision. They may not know the answers, but this will give me an opportunity to share them.
Diane Heeney says
For my kids, complaining almost always morphs into pouting. We have discussed the story of Ahab a number of times recently. Maybe because they are out of the house more, observing what they perceive to be the “haves”… while they are, in their view, the “have nots”.
They thought they “knew all about” Ahab because they knew the “Poochy Lip” song from Patch the Pirate…so I took that story to the end, from the biblical account. There was stunned silence when they realized someone who wallowed in discontent became a murderer by proxy. Also talked about Jezebel and what her reaction ought to have been…truth be told, her reaction is what children want in their own situation: “That’s okay honey…if you really want ________________, I’ll get it for you…just stop your pouting.”
We have also talked about “rejoicing with those who rejoice” (which for some twisted reason is more difficult for many than “weeping with those who weep”) when they observe a friend who receives a gift or a privilege that they presently cannot have. Oh, parenting is indeed “game on” all the time, eh? =)
These are good thoughts, Diane. Thanks for the feedback! I just decided another question would be to ask my children if they can put off murmuring, what should they put on? Thankfulness and contentment come to mind. Have a great weekend.
Diane Heeney says
Btw, I have added a link to your site as well as your mom’s to my blog. These are good resources. Thanks for targeting such a wide gamut of parenting issues from a biblical perspective.
Lyn Marshall says
Hey, Michelle! Actually, I’m not so sure that the biggest issue to address with your son right now is complaining/murmuring. His covering of his ears when you were instructing him demonstrated that he was (at least at that time) resistant to your instruction. I’d say that discipline and instruction are in order, and since Proverbs has a lot to say about sons hearing the instruction of their father (and, of course, mother 🙂 ), I would start there. [I don’t think that it would be bad, too, for him to have a heart-to-heart talk with dad in which it is reinforced that blocking his ears to your instruction–whether literally or figuratively–will not be tolerated. 🙂 ]
Hi Lyn! It’s great to hear from you! Thanks for the comment. Of course you’re right, and I appreciate your taking the time to point this out. I’m sure Lee and I will be discussing this incident further.
So, I’m curious! What did you do or say when you saw he was covering his ears? lol
I asked if he was covering his ears because he didn’t want to be a wise listener. He said he was covering his ears because he wanted to, and that he wasn’t trying not to hear. So I let it go. Perhaps I should have kept questioning and teaching…