Training Hearts

Potty training. Using a spoon. Drinking from a cup. I thought those things were tough, but they don’t hold a candle to training your child’s heart. It’s non-stop around the clock and you never know when opportunity will strike. Sometimes I rush so quickly to a discipline issue that I leave an assortment of strange items in my wake: a pan of cold bacon grease on the school desk, a bag of frozen ground beef in the bathroom. No, I’m not crazy. I have toddlers. It’s truly a physical and emotional balancing act. Be consistant, but felxible. Be firm, but not harsh. Thankfully, there is a never ending source of grace to meet us each day.

Grace is actually a concept we have been trying to weave into our training recently. Our oldest is three, so it’s hit and miss…

Me: William, you were fussy this evening, but I decided you can have a cookie anyway. That’s what grace is – getting something you don’t deserve, just because I love you.

William: YEAH! I can do what I want and still get cookies!

Sometimes Dave takes a different approach to discipline than I do.

Dave: George, there’s no need to drop your food. I am perfectly willing to listen to your complaints if you voice them in a reasonable, logical manner.

(Sometimes they simply don’t feel like being logical.)

They also don’t understand the concept of “tough love” very well…

Me: William says I make a really mean face. Can you believe it?
Dave: Wow! …I’ve actually known that for some time.

I’ve started the “repeat what I said,” but it just doesn’t work when you’re one year old –

Me: Stop bothering your brother.
George: Hi, Mommy.
Me: George, are you listening? Stop bothering William. Stop bothering…who?
George: Pooh.
Me: No! Stop bothering WILLIAM. Stop bothering who?
George. Winnie the Pooh.

Me: (sigh). Just go play. Bother whoever the heck you want.

Well, tomorrow’s a new day with brand new training opportunities. And plenty of new grace.

3 thoughts on “Training Hearts

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