Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Opportunities for correction

Today, we too rarely practice good manners...
When we neglect to require our children to say "thank you" when someone gives them a gift or does something for them, we are raising ungrateful children who are highly unlikely to be happy. Without gratitude,
happiness is a rare thing. With gratitude, the odds go up dramatically that happiness will be the result.

Moms, have you ever wondered why you give your children gifts? How many times have you gone to great effort, only to be rewarded with something like, "Why didn't I get
that one?"

My daughter set a beautiful Valentine's table last night, candlelight and all, bought little gifts--and one rather nice one--for the girls. I must preface this by saying that these are precious little girls and usually quite appreciative of things. But maybe the Valentine candy from 2 Valentine parties and Sunday School brought out the worst in them. Who knows? I think it's called "sin nature."

Some of them were definitely NOT appreciative. So what happens in an instance like this?
I guess there are numerous solutions:

1. Scream at them and tell them they are unappreciative brats! (There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18)

2. Jerk the gifts out of their hands and tell them that you will never give them a gift again as long as you or they live--and at this point it might not be very long for either of you! (see above verse)

3. Go to your room and cry, thinking that you are an utter failure in rearing children. (I can't think of a verse for this one.)

4. Try to use it as an opportunity for correction and discipline--but how?
a. Send them to their rooms for the rest of the night.
b. Make them work to pay for the items they did not appreciate.
c. Take the items away from them.
d. Apply the rod of education to the seat of learning. (Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction will drive it far from him. Proverbs 22:15)
e. Talk, talk, talk. (Know this, my beloved [sisters], let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness that God requires." James 1:19-20)

I thought my daughter used some pretty good teaching tools last night, although she might not. She did talk to the older girls, helping them to understand that complaining that the article of clothing didn't fit was unappreciative and asking, "How could that have been different?" It doesn't take too much discipline for children who have already been taught to be gracious.

The younger one showed much less gratefulness and was properly disciplined. (I do have to say that my daughter came into the kitchen and exclaimed--away from the child, of course--that she was being a real brat! And she was. But things changed!

DON'T GIVE UP, MOMS. Line upon line, precept upon precept. Bringing up children is a real challenge, exhausting, time consuming, and often frustrating and seemingly unrewarding. But in time, by your loving discipline and God's wondrous grace and mercy, you will have the pleasure of enjoying those adult children as best friends. I do, and I am so very thankful.

My girls, my BEST FRIENDS

A good word for your children:

"Even a child makes himself known by his acts, by whether his conduct is pure and upright." Proverbs 20:11

Keep up the hard work!


Cranberry Morning

Good post, Gloria. It's so important that children learn to be appreciative and have basic good manners. It's not to much to expect it of them, and it will make their lives so much nicer. Selfishness gets them nowhere and is just a spiral downward.

Post a Comment