Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Who's Driving?

Can you picture it?  Little children all under the age of nine running around everywhere, food all over the floor, and almost every single one of those little ones had free reign over an event that was meant to honor an adult.

Sometimes I let my fear of where this world is heading take over.  Momentarily mind you, because pretty quickly I go back to the realization that there is a mighty God who is in control of everything.  Training our kids up to be decent human beings is one part The Yankee and I can play in trying to contribute something to this world after we are long gone from it.  All I can say is, I know 100% percent that our kids are decent human beings when they are around us.  Once they are out of our sight, I can only pray they don't dance around like wild monkeys and back sass every adult they come across.  Had they been toddlers, and at said event with me (which they would not have been because I would have found a sitter or sacrificed going to the event myself), they would have sat quietly by my side while we honored the hostess and the person the party was for. Why? Because I said so.  

People have gotten aggravated with me and accused me of thinking our kids are perfect. I always have the same response to this….Ummm, no, they aren’t perfect, ya know how I know this? I’m the one who disciplines them!!!  Besides we are well aware in this house that God only made one perfect creation, His son, Jesus.  Yet I refuse to apologize for having well behaved kids.  It seems that this is what the world would want me to do, but it’s not going to happen. 

One precious little toddler at the event took to beating the hostess over the head with a large balloon as she sat in the middle of the floor trying her hardest to accomplish her hostess duties.  Precious toddler did not hit her once, or twice, but the entire time this part of the event was going on.  Where was her parent? At the table right next to her, grinning and saying “OMG, isn’t that funny?”  Well, actually, no.  There is nothing funny about a child not being made to behave.  Not just for the inconveniences it causes the people around them at that particular time, but what about their future?  Disciplining your child is the best thing you can do for them, unless you want them to grow up a narcissistic menace to society who believes they should do whatever they want, whenever they want.

“Our goal as parents:  we must not transfer power too early, even if our children take us daily to the battlefield.” ~ Dr. James Dobson (http://www.focusonthefamily.com/)

Another mother allowed her multiple children to sit there and drop food all over the floor.  When they left, their spot and only their spot looked as though 20 zoo animals had been trying to eat in that location.  I get that accidents happen, toddlers drop things, moms get tired, but back in my day, we cleaned up the messes our children made before we left the event, exhausted or not.  To take that one step further, how about, if your children are dropping that much food, make them sit still, over the table, so that they actually stop dropping the food to begin with, old fashioned I know.  Maybe even mean.  Maybe I squelched our children’s’ free spirit by making them behave?  At what point in history did parents become bad guys for making their children mind?

A friend once told me in a restaurant (as her children were under the table and mine were on the edge of their seats itching to be under the table but knowing better), “Well, you were just blessed with good kids.”  Yes, maybe. I do completely give God the credit for they are HIS children before they are my children.  But their daddy and I also did lots and lots of WORK to assure they were not under the table, in the clothes wracks, or acting like terrors in public.

Here’s a shocker…in our household, we didn’t use pacifiers (personal choice, I have nothing against pacifiers), or baby gates, or little plastic locks to keep our cabinets closed.  We didn’t hide things the children were not supposed to touch or put valuables behind lock and key.  We began by allowing our children to learn to calm themselves without a pacifier.  It involved nights and nights of no sleep on our part, and it was DIFFICULT, but only for about a week.  Once that week was over I knew if one of my babies was crying, they needed changed or were hungry because they weren’t crying just to have some piece of rubber put in their mouth.  And no baby gate! Well, someone should have called CPS because we always lived in a house with stairs…but you know what worked? Telling them that they couldn’t climb up the stairs!  How amazing is that? A little tap on the bum if they started to try it, which was WORK, because I always had to have one eye on them and one eye on whatever else I was doing, but the reality is, it never took more than a couple of times for them to learn they weren’t supposed to do it.  

My mother-in-law was the absolute queen of knick-knacks.  Let me tell you, if it was little and glass, she had it on her coffee table, her dining room table and her bookshelves.  Image her joy when we could take our kids to her house and she never once had to ask them not to touch anything!  I know it’s shocking but we never put protectors in the electrical outlets either.  My parents never had them for us growing up so I decided there must have been some way they helped me get to high school graduation without getting electrocuted…upon asking my mom about this, amazingly, they took the time to teach me not to touch them!  Brilliant idea!!!

Once when our daughter was teething, I was holding her on my hip and wearing a tank top because it was the middle of summer.  She rested her head on my shoulder, I thought because she was tired, but, instead, she proceeded to take a bite out of my shoulder.  It was painful!! In my shock I reached out and smacked her little mouth, not hard mind you, just enough to tell her NO, you don’t do that.  Even at that tiny age, I could tell by the look in her eyes that it registered.  And she never bit anyone again.  I have a friend whose mother tells a hysterical story about when her children were teething and they bit her, she bit them back!!!!  It only took one time for them to see, Hey, wait a minute that hurts!  And they all got it!!!  They get it folks, they want to be taught right from wrong, need to be taught it in fact. But in today's society we seem to be overcome with the fear of being mean to our kids.

The other day we were in the optometrists office, a woman walked in for her appointment with five children all under the age of 8.  Like little ducks in a row, the all followed her in quietly, sat down side by side, and waited for her name to be called.  They had been taught how to behave and you could tell every single person in that office appreciated and admired that this mother had taken the time to train five children so well.

Psychologically, I would love to study why newer generations feel so horrible for making kids behave. I really appreciated the following article a friend of mine posted on Facebook:

Even when you look at the nutrition, here in the US, our kids want a snack, we give them a snack (me included), because it is easier than listening to them complain about being hungry and because we don’t want them to WANT for anything.  And there we have come full circle.   

Parents it’s time to get behind the wheel.  YOU are in the driver’s seat of your child’s life, NOT THEM.  It isn’t child abuse to allow them to ride in the passenger seat until they are old enough to take the wheel themselves. Just as the Dobson quote above states..stop, take a minute, and think about it.  Who has power in your house? You? Or have you already transferred power over to your children.  Because if you have, trust me, THEY KNOW IT!!

Parents it’s time to get behind the wheel.

Our kids are going to want for things in their lives, everything will not always go one hundred percent the way they want it to.  We are not doing them any favors by succumbing to their every whim and not disciplining them when their behavior calls for it! Yes, in the short term, not disciplining them is easier, because we are tired or stressed or we feel guilty for something or whatever the million excuses we have for not disciplining them are.  But in the end, we truly only create more stress by succumbing to their every whim and then not disciplining them when they do something wrong. Imagine what a world it would be if we ourselves were not disciplined and reined in by a loving God?  Shouldn’t we, in turn, use the same disciplining love on the children He has been kind enough to bless us with?

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