Friday Fun: Who are you not loving?6:00:00 AM
Over the past few months, I have been explaining myself to my eldest more and more.
No, not making excuses. Really. I promise.
Rather, I want her to understand the WHY behind discipline.
After all, Lil Bit is 4. Pardon me--I mean she is 4 and a half, as she will tell you if you ask. I can simply discipline my 15 month twins--all they need to know is "No! Don't hit. Don't Bite. Simple commands are best, simply because that's where their comprehension level is. But at 4--well, she wants to know why.
At first, the simple explanation was, "Because mommy and daddy don't want you to hurt [fill in the blank]."
But last week, while we were on vacation, she came to me in tears. Daddy had reprimanded her about stealing his drink (without asking)--and drinking it all.So I thought it was time to go a step further in the explanations.
Me: "Do you understand why Daddy doesn't want you to take his drink?"
Lil Bit: "No!"
Me: "Because Mommy and Daddy want you to learn to do things that God tells us to do. He tells us to do two things. Do you know what God wants us to do?"
Lil Bit: [A thoughtful silence] "What does God want us to do?"
Me: "God tells us to do two things: Love God, and love each other. When Mommy and Daddy tell you not to do something, it is usually because if you do it, you aren't loving somebody."
Lil Bit: "Oh."
Me: "So tell me, who were you not loving just now?"
Lil Bit: "Daddy?"
Me: "That's right! And what do you think you should do about it?"
Lil Bit: "Say I'm sorry." The tears were gone, she understood, and off she ran to apologize to her daddy.
And now, for the last week or so, when Lil Bit isn't doing what she should, "I ask her, who are you not loving?" And that usually prompts a turnaround and immediate apology. What a difference the understanding of why makes! The apology doesn't mean that there aren't consequences, but she is learning!
Of course, as I teach my child, I also have to examine my heart. Who am I not loving? It's a daily question that I should ask myself.
And if you're curious where I got what I told Lil Bit, here is the reference:
Matthew 22:35-39 (NIV)
One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"
Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all you heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself."
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