Toddler Madison and I were waiting in a loooong return line at Target after a long day of shopping. Madison had reached her max and I knew it, although I watched her patiently roaming around and still staying close to Momma.
And then she took me by surprise, I watched with confused eyes while Madison laid down on the floor and began to kick her legs and pound her fists on the floor of Target. I could hear the judgemental inhales and the eyes of those around me almost burned through me. I walked over, scooped up my little girl and returned to the line. She sat on my hip, waiting…again…patiently.
When the stares had turned away from us, I whispered to Madison, “What was that about?”
She smiled and whispered back to me, “I saw that on Tom and Jerry.”
“Oh. OK.” And we continued on with our day. It was no tantrum at all, it was simply child’s play.
I know my girl makes mistakes, some days more than others, but I wish that I could wear a sign that states, “I discipline my child for HER good, NOT FOR YOUR’S.”
I see children crushed when they are scolded and they don’t understand why, I see parents fold under the expectations of others, and I see judgemental eyes of those that think they know everything…well, ya don’t.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” – which is the first commandment with a promise – “so that it may go well with you…” Ephesians 6:1
“Children obey your parents…so that it may go well with you.” Children are to obey for the benefit of the child! Not so life will be easier on mom and dad, not so mom won’t get embarrassed at Target, not so others will think well of us, FOR OUR CHILD! Obeying is the best thing for the child!
I believe children need to constantly, I mean every minute, need to hear:
1. I LOVE YOU.
2. YOU CAN NOT DO WHATEVER YOU WANT.
Generations/Personalities of parents tend to swing toward one or the other. “I love my child too much to discipline them.” vs. the “because I said so” shouters.
No! A child needs someone to listen, someone to care, someone to explain, someone to buy them presents on a Tuesday just because they love them. AND just as much, they need someone to love them enough to say, “you can not treat your friend like that because I love you,” “You can not have that because I love you.”
Being a mother may have taught me more than I have taught my daughter. I have learned in almost every situation, if not every situation, I can turn the lesson back on myself and I see, “oh, that makes things make a little more sense.”
God says to me:
1. I love you.
2. You can not have whatever you want.