This morning was a good morning for my daughter. Yesterday was not. Yesterday morning she did not follow the two R’s we practice every morning: Respect and Responsibility. We strive for success in the two R’s each morning in order for her to earn the privilege of watching a fun, educational program in the afternoon (or an episode of Little House on the Prairie). Instead, after she completed her school work, she came into the living room to find two notes taped to the television. I had titled one note Respect and Responsibility, on which I had written various things in easy to read language about respecting God, respecting your parents, respecting yourself (your body and your things), and respecting others.
On the other note, I had written several Bible verses recommended by Lisa Whelchel in her book Creative Correction. They were verses I knew and had used with my boys when they were young. One in particular was Philippians 2:14-15. I had often quoted verse 14 to my boys:
14Do everything without complaining or arguing,
15 so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe…
Lisa mentions using this with her son and telling him that when he has a bad attitude his star begins to fade. So, my daughter and I read through the list I had made her on respect and then read through each Bible verse. After reading the above verse, I told her the same thing Lisa told her son. Then I sang to her “This Little Light of Mine, I’m gonna let it shine…” We talked about how her star shines brightly when she doesn’t complain or argue…when she has a good attitude. But how her star fades with a bad attitude.
This morning, as she was getting dressed and eating breakfast, she asked me to sing the song about her light shining.
In chapter 3 of Creative Correction Lisa discusses developing in our children a heart of obedience. In chapter 4, she teaches us as parents to focus on the big picture of our children’s choices. How things they do as 4 and 5 year olds and how we handle those issues, will affect how they act and react as 14 and 15 year olds. She also gives us ideas for helping our kids have an eternal perspective…even in things as simple as who is going to get the last cookie in the cookie jar!
For another insight from Creative Correction that I shared in a story I wrote on my personal blog, see My Hosea Story on Delanasworld.
As a 17 year old, my middle son confessed to me one day that when he was 5 years old, he was the one who took the cookie jar outside and ate all the cookies. “I’m sorry mom, do you forgive me?”
Too little too late? Never! How could I not forgive him? I can’t imagine having carried that around for 12 years!