It was late last night, while holding a Kade who wasn't able to sleep without me, that I discovered this wonderful website www.raisinggodlytomatoes.com (recommended by an author of a mommy blog).
I sat and read article after article, feeling encouraged, challenged, convicted, and ready. Ready to train my children better than I have been, especially my young children. It's not as if I haven't been training at all, but I needed the practical scenarios she gave so that I could actually "picture" doing it with my children. We've worked on coming when called, obeying happily, obeying when told "no", sitting quietly, and so on, but I feel like I haven't been quite as focused on this as needed. I know these early years are crucial years. I know we'll avoid many troubles if we can work on happy obedience right now!!
So today, I am keeping more of a keen eye for any situations that arise...half-hearted obedience, pouting, and whining. I worked with Kade on coming when called and realized I've really waited too long! (nothing irreparable) but he is certainly capable of understanding, following through each and every time, AND being willfully stubborn!
The title of this website is a little quirky, but she explains this concept quite well, and it's a great word picture! Several key points for me:
1. Listen to the mommy radar (if my child is irritating me it's probably not because he's just being childish but rather there's some training that needs to be done.)
2. Don't give up. They'll eventually get it, even if we must practice over and over and over, until they get a happy attitude or obey, or whatever. Just make sure that I LAST LONGER!
3. Keep my children close at all times until I feel like I can trust them. Keep a close eye on any situations of the slightest disobedience or wrong attitude. (I generally keep Levi and Kade on the same floor with me. DJ gets more freedom but I still have him close by for much of the time).
4. This kind of training will ensure no yelling, major frustration, emotional spankings, but rather a household of children who are happy to obey and children and parents who can really enjoy one another. (This is my goal).
Anyway, I'm thankful for the words of wisdom from this website (she has a book, too) and I'm praying for diligence to train my children and not lower my expectations to meet the world's ideas of children and their behavior.
Sometimes it's so easy to ignore disobedience or only deal with an action, or give up because they're not getting it right away because of all the daily things calling. But I remind myself that school work, laundry put away, scrap booking time, meals on time....all are nice but they are nothing in comparison to training my children to be obedient, for obedience to their parents teaches them obedience to their Heavenly Father.