Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Never saying never

Just when I think that my children have mastered, overcome, or continually obeyed in some area of child training, I am proved wrong and my prideful parenting humbled. I guess this is a good thing. Wink. 

However, I am vowing today to NEVER, NEVER, NEVER say these words again: "My (insert child's name) NEVER does...(insert unacceptable action.) 

Here's the latest reason why I have made this vow:

We had been having a smooth day. After they played all morning in their classes at Grace Bible Church while I worked, we headed to the grocery store. An afternoon shopping trip, of any kind, is usually dreaded by me because I know that that I am asking much of my little munchkins. For one, they have to be still for a good hour. Secondly, afternoons are typically spent napping. Thirdly, they have probably played their little hearts out in the morning. These factors all add up to likely result: major disobedience. Like public fighting, pulling hair, screaming and countless no's and whines. HOWEVER, today they didn't do any of that. I was so pleased. They were actually excited to go to the grocery store which is SO rare. 

Needless to say I was feeling pretty good on the way home. While I unloaded the groceries, I told them to pick out some library books to read and sit on the couch to wait for me. We always read a few library books to wind down before naptime. They always pick them out and wait on the couch for me. Then, I decided to interfere with the normal routine. I gave them each half a little chocolate as a sweet reward for behaving so nicely at the store. As I am bringing in the last bag of groceries, I glance over to watch Ethan tear an ENTIRE page out of one of the library books. He doesn't look back at me in fear of discipline. In fact, he looks back at as if he had done nothing unusual or wrong. I am flabbergasted. 

Of my two little ones, Ethan is the last one I would have expected that behavior. I can remember countless times I have even said "Ethan NEVER tears books." Well, here I sit, humbled and vowed. I am not vowing because I think it to be some magical charm that will keep these "NEVER" instances from happening. In vowing I am changing my philosophy, my mentality of parenting. Like "big people", "little people" go back to old habits easily and try new destructive behaviors because we are prone to pleasing ourselves. I have to remember that my children are human and not just little puppets I can manipulate to do what I want. So, I guess I should thank Ethan for reminding me of this. That is, of course, after I spank him for doing what he shouldn't have and NEVER does. 

3 comments:

Tammy said...

one other word that is good to discard with children is "always" because as soon as you say that they always do such and such-they won't
....never and always not good parenting words, but great teaching words for parents...like you I wouldn't have dreamed that Ethan would ever tear a book since he values them so highly (like the other Arbuckle men), but we ALL are capable of doing what we don't want to do and not doing what we should. I believe that is from St. Paul and so it continues w/all of us...

Janette said...

Kyrsten, reading your stories reminds me of what I have in the road ahead. Keep the good tips coming! :) How is your little one growing along? Have you found out the sex?

The Arbuckles said...

Not yet...hopefully, soon though! I just need to make the ultrasound appt!