Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Thoughts on Discipline

This past Sunday Greg and I were talking about Ephesians chapter 6 with some friends, and the conversation quickly turned to how to discipline our children well. I've been trying to respond to the boys' tattling and general aggression toward one another with as much patience as possible, but I'll tell ya what, sometimes I wonder what planet these two are from.

Five minutes ago, I was out on the deck enjoying some Laura time and the three older kids were inside, supposedly playing quietly with one another while Charlie napped. Sam came flying out yelling because Max had socked him in the back with this silly blue rubber snake that I deeply regret buying and putting in his stocking a few years ago. I called Max over and patiently asked him if he would like to be hit with a snake. He looked off into the distance and I caught my breath, sensing that a breakthrough was upon me.

"Mom?" he asked.
"Yes?" I answered breathlessly, wide-eyed and waiting for his aha moment.
"What if a hippo stepped on a frog and smashed him? Would the frog be dead?"
"Well, yes, I suppose he would be dead. Now Max, how would you feel if..."
He cut me off. "What do hippos eat, Mom?"
"Plants. They eat plants. Max, I want you to give me the blue snake, because-"
"How about beetles, Mom? What do beetles eat?"
"Ummm, dirt, I think."
"What do ducks eat?"
I sighed. "Bread. I know they eat bread when we bring it to the pond."
"Hey, can I have some bread, Mom? I'm so hungry Mom."

This is about how the conversation wrapped up. I got in a few more sentences about the repercussions of hitting a sibling, and the snake got a new home in the kitchen cabinet above the mixer.

In other news, we went to the park this morning with my sis and her boys and had some fun. It was windy when we left, and Sam gave me a long once over, wrinkled his nose and said, "Your hair looks like curtains. Like a bunch of little brown messed up curtains all over your head."

Children sure know how to keep you on your toes, don't they? One day you're smiling at your darlings in the sun, and the next day you've got reptiles flying across your playroom and a head full of curtains.

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. "
Ephesians 6:1-4

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