NOTE TO SELF: My first son Josh, who is now 26, was a very laid back, obedient child. He very rarely did anything wrong or talked back to me. His well-behaved demeanor was one of the reasons I reconsidered having another child a few years ago.
Tavin is a different child all together. He is passionately strong-willed, incredibly high-strung, pushes the limits, touches EVERYTHING and anything that he walks past, smarts back, and throws enormous temper tantrums. However, he is also one of the most polite children you’ll ever meet. He’s thoughtful, intelligent, creative, generous, friendly, social, affectionate, and loving. To put it mildly, a day with him is one long, winding, twisting, turning, intense roller-coaster-car-escalating-high-and-dropping-low-with-screams-and-tears ride.
The common phrases I use 90% of each day is, “What did I just tell you?” and “How many times do I have to tell you…” But the all-time catch phrase in our house is, “Do you understand me?!”
I once declared a couple of years ago that I can totally understand why parents just quit trying. It’s incredibly tiresome and aggravating to say the same thing over and over and over and over. But you can’t stop! It will sink it. (I think. I hope. I pray.) We don’t give up disciplining Tavin, because everywhere we go we see the destruction of child’s lives from parents who have just given up (or worse, never tried).
I mentioned before that we live in a pretty bad neighborhood. Across the street from us is a black family with about four kids, ranging from 2 to 6. Since they’ve moved in, I’ve seen these kids completely unattended, unprotected, and all the while, carefully and closely paying attention to EVERY drag-out, smack-down fight that has gone on over there, and there have been a LOT! Now when I see these kids outside, they are mimicking those fights with each other, punching, pushing, swearing, even throwing metal folding chairs across the yard and breaking things on purpose.
I know there are more parents out there like Jared and I, but from what I can see out in this crazy world, more and more parents are like those of my neighbors. I often find myself predicting that when those kids get older and they are in endless trouble, that their parents will end up blaming the child and wondering what went wrong. They had a chance to teach them right from wrong. They had the chance to stop the destruction of their children’s lives.
PRAYER: Father, we lift up the children of this world and pray that You protect them from their own parents who refuse to discipline them or set good examples for them. Lord, I pray that you keep Your guiding hand on their backs and lead them in Your ways as they grow older. Every child has a future, God, teach parents how to wisely invest in them through discipline and love. Amen.
JOURNAL: Write about how your parents disciplined you and how it affected you today.