If you have kids then you know the agony of telling them 'NO' when they are not allowed to do something. I am pretty sure kids think we enjoy saying 'NO'. They haven't a clue the pain that is involved as a parent as we have to endure their sour faces, rotten attitudes, and the gloom that infiltrates the family from disappointment. What parent enjoys that?
So you can imagine the 'NO's' that we have to pass out with 8 kids!!! Are you feeling our pain?
Sometimes you just give out a 'NO' and other times we try to explain why. Learning that the majority of the time they may ask 'why' but they really have zero desire to hear us speak.
Today a mom and dad's heart leaped for JOY as we had a child that accepted the 'NO' with much grace! This child asked if they could do something and we calmly said "NO, not today" and the response was..................."okay" with a pleasant face!
We have learned that if you want a certain behavior you better hand out the praises for what you liked. You can't just punish the things you don't like and not recognize the good. (Kids need to know what they are aiming for and not just hearing they need to aim towards a siblings right response. We need to point out the ones THEY specifically do).
So as we arrived home I took a few moments during lunch prep to share the joy at this child's response. Sharing that often our Christian walk is more than just doing right things but also about having right responses. Sometimes the hardest responses can be when we face disappointments, failures or experience pain. Singing this child's praises, so we can reinforce a wonderful attitude, we shared how this was God honoring, parenting honoring and a great influence on the friends standing around watching the response.
(Dad walked into the room and I announced to him, in front of this child, what I had witnessed. Quickly picking up on this was a moment to reinforce right behavior he quickly sang praises to this child too! We were honoring a moment of maturity that needed to be pointed out!)
As parents we got to witness the amazing GRIN of CONTENTMENT that was spread all over this child's face and body. They understood that they reflected a life following Christ vs a life that was only looking for its own selfish pleasure.
Are you looking for your moments to 'sing praises to your kids' when they have right responses or actions. Move in quick and praise well...they need this!
Of course we did walk out of the room and right into the path of another child who did not appreciate the 'NO' that was given. I guess parenting shall continue as we look to find a moment to sing THIS child's praises!