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Posts Tagged ‘discipline’


Sometimes folly is fun

There is proverb that goes something like this:

15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
but the rod of discipline drives it far from him. Proverbs 22

The more you parent younger children, the more you realize how true this statement is. Folly is bound up in the heart of each child. It will express itself in many forms, which will differ among children. Sometimes that folly is really funny.

Take yesterday. Foolish, crazy, funny creativity. While waiting in the exam room Eli turned the doctor’s stool into a ride. Any number of children and dolls would sit the and be pushed around. Or he’d just lie on his stomach and move himself around the room. There are times his silly creativity is really funny.

Then there is Ash who kept moving the sticker he got at the doctor’s office. As you can see, it ended up on his head.

Not so funny was Eli about to put his on the inside of the recently tinted minivan windows. We already talked to him about that. My new thing with him is “When you are about to do something, ask yourself, has mom or dad said not to do this?” I’m trying to slow him down so common sense has a reasonable chance versus the folly. It needs all the help it can get.

And there are moments that remind me of Bill Cosby’s Himself. The “brain damage” is clearly evident (that is just another phrase for folly) and you go over the edge. No, neither of us holds a yardstick like a samurai warrior. But we pretty much say “I have had enough!”

It is not so funny when the kids completely tune you out. Or they use rash speech, as one of ours is prone to do. Nothing like that to move the discipline up a notch. Parenting is difficult. You deal with folly often. And it does need to be loved, nurtured, instructed and disciplined out of a child. That is wearisome. How many times do I have to tell the same child not to come downstairs during nap/rest time? Every day it is the same thing. Maddening! Brain damage.

Somehow the gospel finds us. Sometimes before we snap. Sometimes after we’ve lost our temper. Sometimes we remember how patient God is. After all, he was sending prophets to the northern kingdom for over 200 years before he sent them into exile at the hand of the Assyrians. They were committing the same sins for 200+ years. Not minor, petty stuff either. They were guilty of gross idolatry, syncretism and adopting the loathsome practices of the nations they had dispossessed. Yes, the very sins that caused those nations to be removed in judgment (read your Bible carefully, that what the conquest was- a judgment on those nations whose sin had reached its fullness).

While we must be patient with our children’s folly, we can’t ignore that folly. At least when it involves disobedience and the endangerment of self or others. When the worst days come, I often need to be reminded that I am not unique in this, and laugh. And that is where Bill Cosby comes in.

Asher and Micah have a common trait- the death glare. When they are mad at you they glare at you. Micah is not very emotional, unlike Jadon who is emotional enough for both of them. Ash is young enough to still have tantrums. But both glare, refusing to meet your eyes.

Soon they will discover that I can outdo them in the death glare. I have 4 decades of experience in these matters. I won’t be intimidated by the death glare of a pre-schooler. Not happening on my watch. But perhaps I ought to give them a big kiss instead.

It is a challenge for us as parents. Our home is not like the Cosby skit. There are not regular beatings. Fury is not spent beating children into submission. But there is discipline. We need to show that discipline is part of love.

It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Hebrews 12

They need to see loving discipline. While reminding Jadon that God disciplines those He loves, she responded with, “Not that again!”  Sometimes Micah cries when we discipline another child. She has to watch us to see it is part of love and not harmful.  That will take time and consistency. That can be difficult when the brain damage is spreading like a plague.

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One of the agencies that helps people adopt- not an adoption agency- recommends The Connected Child: For Parents Who Have Welcomed Children.  We hadn’t read it, so we figured we would.  Amie got it from the library and has been reading it.  I took it with me on my recent trip to Baltimore and read much of it on the plane rides.  It is an easy, and quick read.

The Good

The book was helpful in plenty of ways.  I wish we had heard about it before we adopted our son.  This book is specifically for those who have adopted children.  They can often be subject to abuse or neglect prior to entering your home.  This can lead to some issues they have.  At times they are not being disobedient, but full of fear.  Some behavioral issues may have to do with learning disabilities that may not be apparent.

So, it helped me see areas where my son may be struggling.  The key word is may.

She provides some helpful techniques for addressing the most common concerns.  These are easy things that seem obvious, but often aren’t in the midst of parenting. So there are things here that are not found in the average book on parenting.  It is an important read.

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