Wednesday, May 7, 2008

"Good" Kids


Often when we are out somewhere as a family, someone will stop us and compliment on our "good" kids. We'll be in a restaurant and a couple will stop by the table and tell us how well behaved the kids are acting. Or in the line at the grocery store, the cashier will tell us how nice our family is. A neighbor once commented, "My so-and-so is such a handful. You're lucky! You just have good kids." She was implying that my kids naturally act that way, that they were just born "good." That we didn't have to do anything to get them this way. If only.

It took training to have our children behave the way they do. Gavin, in his self-nature, wants to whop his little brother when he takes away his toys just as much as the kid in the store wants to throw a tantrum when he can't buy candy. But Gavin, unlike the other kid, has been trained that there is a better way. It took work on Brian's part and my part to raise the kids to have Godly attitudes. It takes work every day! One day (or hour or minute) of slack, and the ugly attitudes and actions start to creep in.

I understand that some kids that have temperaments that make them harder to train than others. I have one of those. I could command this child to do something over and over and administer a spanking between each command and this child still would refuse to do what I said. It took more spankings than I cared to give before the child would finally give in. As time went by, this child learned to obey the first time, not the twenty-second time. My point is, good kids are trained kids, not kids that are good by nature.
Thankfully, I'm not on my own! Just as the kids don't act "good" by nature, I'm not a "good" mom by nature. God promises in Psalm 32:8, "I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you." What a promise!

5 comments:

  1. Isn't it truly amazing how many people just don't get this? I don't understand that. I have a friend whose daughter and she would have raging, screaming fights when the girl was a teen. The girl would scream how much she hated her mom, etc. Yet, this behavior eactually started much, much earlier, when she was just a small preschooler. If she had been taught respect then. If respect had been demanded (and given) then, I don't believe those same words would have come out of her mouth all those years later. If you can't impose standards when they're young--forget it later, it's going to be ugly!

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  2. Thanks for stopping by and checking out my Wordless Wednesday.

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  3. When I was a young mom with two littles, I was remarking to another Christian mom about how difficult it was to train small ones. She laughed and said, "You think this is hard; just wait until they're teenagers!"

    I thought then, as I think now (and as experience has shown me four times!),...she's wrong. It is when our children are young that we are laying the foundation for the years ahead. And once you have won some very basic and strategic battles, the rest is much easier.

    Actually, I have the teenage years to be rewarding.

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  4. We worked hard on ours as well when they were little. Now that they;re teens, we have our moments, but overall I'm very, very blessed. My two are 14 months apart, and get along like gangbusters. Squabbles are easily forgotten and everyone moves on quite contentedly. So, keep it up! It does work.

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