My 3 year old uses crying and whining to manipulate us. Knowing that she’s an emotional child, I usually have a little more patience with her than I probably should. But I’m always careful not to discipline her for being emotional – since that’s how she’s hard-wired.
So I tried a new tactic this morning. As she collapsed on the floor in mid-whine because we ran out of toast and I was substituting toast, I told her that she was being disrespectful. And I said the Bible tells us to respect and honor our mother and father, and she’s not doing that. And that makes me sad and it makes God sad. That provoked her to thought. Then she straightened up and started playing.
At that point (eureka!) I told her how much it makes me happy when she gives me respect and honor, and it makes God even happier. Her response? “And Jesus is happy too!” I don’t know how long this tactic will work, but I’ve used it twice this morning, and it worked perfectly both times. I was just told at a parenting conference this weekend that it isn’t enough to teach your children the Bible verses about respect – you have to teach them what it looks like by reinforcing when they’re doing it and correcting when they’re not. So here’s to showing them what it looks like!
For more works for me Wednesday tips, head over to Shannon’s place at Rocks in My Dryer.