Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Train Up Your Child: Choices

We’ve been spending a lot of time talking about good and bad choices with Liza and Jason. To help you understand what that looks like in our house I will share an example that happened recently…

Liza and Jason were fighting and one ended up hitting the other and the other decided to hit back. I sent them to their rooms to calm down and once they settled I called them into the hallway where we sat on the floor and had the following conversation:

Me: Are you guys making good choices or bad choices today?
Liza: Probably bad choices.
Me: Can you tell me what one of your bad choices was?
Liza: Hitting Jason.
Me: That’s right. Jason, when you hit Liza back was that a good choice or a bad choice?
Jason: A bad choice.
Me: So, next time one of you hits the other, if hitting back is a bad choice then what would be the good choice?
Liza and Jason: To not hit.
Me: That’s right! (overly enthusiastic.)
      If Liza starts bothering you Jason and you start getting upset 
      what can you do?
Jason: Ummmmm.
Me: How about walking away and finding somewhere else to play? Would that be a good decision or a bad decision?
Jason: A good one.
Me: Ok. Let’s practice making a good decision. Jason let’s pretend that Liza just hit you again. What are you going to do?
(Jason gets up and walks away. And I do lots of clapping and cheering and talking about what an awesomely good choice that was!)
Me: Liza, it’s your turn. Let’s pretend that Jason was just bothering you and you were starting to get angry with him. Show me a good choice.
(Liza gets up and walks away and I do the whole clapping and cheering thing again.)
Me: Alright! You guys are so smart! You definitely know what the good choices are! Let’s pray and ask God to help us make good choices all the time.

And we prayed and hugged and the kids went off to play together again.

It was later in the day that what I saw made my heart so happy… Liza was bothering Jason and I saw him get ready to hit her but he stopped himself and turned and walked away and went and played in his room!

Oh my gosh people!!! Such a proud mommy moment! They DO get it! They DO understand the difference between a good choice and a bad choice. They CAN learn to control themselves and stop themselves from just reacting.

And you can bet your bottom dollar that I was all over that kid with praise and hugs and kisses! 3 1/2 and he just made such a good, wise decision. He caught himself in the middle of it and stopped. Wow!

Now, I wish I could say that it goes that well every time but it doesn’t. I mean… let’s be honest here. How many of us adults make good decisions every single time!? But the kids are learning and when things start to get heated in our house I often just have to remind them “this is a good time to make a good decision.”

They can figure it out.

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