How many times would I just like to ignore the offense and move on? Dozens, Thousands, Millions!
But knowing that ignoring the problem will never solve the problem! I am faced with stopping my agenda to work on a higher agenda! Somehow between child #1 and child #8 I keep forgetting just because I taught this to one child a thousand times does not mean the others are trained. So once again we are faced with moving down the child line and training the other 7 just like the first one. And that means repeating ourselves over and over and over again.
Thankful that God gently tapped me on the shoulder this morning to stop my task of having a clean kitchen and dive into a few messy heart kids.
Cleaning the kitchen I hear one child say to another, "You are a liar."
Somehow hearing it from a distance it put it in perspective. What I heard was one child labeling another and that is NOT what we do in a family! Unless you are going to label your sibling with something kind and uplifting. I don't recall liar being one of those!
Stepping into the mess I began to train, both kids! It takes two to Tango! Whoever is making the most noise we deal with first. Training an older child is not always easy when they have their eyes on someone else they feel is the problem. Teens have a great way of only seeing the injustice of how we as parents have failed to train the younger children and want to demand the behavior stop in their sibling! We like to point out that we are still having to work on YOU, why would you think they would comprehend their issues at only 6!
Hearing one child tell another that they are a liar is not a joy to hear. Knowing that the 6 year old is completely offended, the teen is completely frustrated, and the parent is completely exhausted from constant training of EVERYONE! I step in...anyways!
The problem - a child not being truthful to a sibling
The issue - one teen telling his sibling he is a liar
The result -parent stepping in to solve the problem and the issue!
We'll start with the teen!
"Don't call your brother a liar."
But he lied.
"Don't call your brother a liar."
But he did lie and he needs to stop.
"Do you think calling him a liar will solve that problem?"
(rolling of eyes, deep sigh, and completely disgusted with the fact mom and dad will not deal with younger sibling)
"Do you want this problem solved or not?"
"Then you need to listen to me and not call your brother a liar. He will only live up to your expectations. If you call him a liar you are not pointing out truth you are just putting him down. If he lied then ask him if that is the truth. Let God convict his heart!"
"The moment you pointed blame you put him on the defense (fight mode). Ask a question to make him ponder the action (make him think)."
"If you want to challenge him to live for truth, then let the Father work on his heart. His heart is not yours to point out its brokenness. Do you like for your siblings to try to fix your brokenness?"
No (a sigh of understanding)
"The wiser brother will bring about growth not put his brother down!"
Now onto 6 year old...
"Did you tell the truth?"
No (head bowed down...he knew he was wrong...no reason to continue on)
No yelling needed to transpire.
No long discussion to be covered.
No punishment handed out because truth was seen by all.
Well, problem solved at this moment in time with THIS child.
Wonder who is next and when will it occur?
Lord, help us to remember to point our children to truth and allow you
to heal their brokenness. Help me to not be a hindrance with ignoring a
problem, making a bigger issue than their needs to be, or not seeing the real
problem at hand. Give us grace to parent each and every day with each and