Isn’t it funny how a child can go from menace to angel in a matter of minutes!?! We went to Target today to mainly look for a shower curtain for the new bathroom. We had a few other things to look at too but that was my main focus. Luke and Eli both got Toy Story and Toy Story 2 for Easter from Gram and Grandad. They got these about 2 weeks ago and since then we’ve watched both movies several times. Also since then, Luke has asked for a Toy Story toy. He goes back and forth from wanting the slinky dog to wanting Buzz. Well, since we got our refund (yay!) I thought I’d let the boys pick out a toy! Mommy and Daddy are spending a little on themselves, so it’s only right to let the boys get something! Not to mention that they rarely get toys with me. We just don’t have the money.. and thankfully the grandparents keep their toy supply overflowing anyway!
So, I talked with Luke this morning and explained our plans: go to Target, Mommy will look for her stuff, last stop will be the toy aisle. His instructions: obey = toy. Disobey = no toy. While I was looking at spice racks Luke knocked over some thermos. So, I told him no touching.. well, that lasted a whole 2 seconds. I then told him, as we were heading over to the shower curtains that he was on thin ice because he was not following instructions. He started complaining and whining about wanting to go get his toy. Long story short, at our last stop before the toy section, I just told him he wasn’t getting a toy. Well all hades broke loose! Screaming and crying, “I WANT A TOY!” LOUD, really, really LOUD! So, we went straight to the check out and he was screaming even louder. I kept repeating, “Luke, you are NOT getting a toy. No matter what you say, you are NOT getting a toy.” I calmly (while my son screamed) told one of the ladies at the front that I would be back for my buggy but that we needed to take a trip to the bathroom. He continued to scream and I calmly told him that we would stay in that bathroom all day. I was not going to try to talk to him while he screamed! Finally he got quiet and we talked about his behavior. I asked him if he deserved a toy.. and he said, “yes”. Ha! He continued to whine, not as loud but he was still crying and whining. We talked again about his behavior and about how he had disobeyed me, which is also disobeying God. He had broken God’s rules about honoring and obeying me. Finally, I asked, “Do you think after screaming at Mommy, disobeying Mommy and God that you should get a toy or a spanking?” He said solemnly, “A spanking.” Yes, sir. So, a spanking he got. Then he said, “I have lots of toys at home. And next time I’ll be nice when we come to Target.” I hope so! And while all of this went on I was also attempting Eli to not touch the toilet and trash can!
We checked out and he was fine. We decided to go eat at Chik Fil A. We went in and had a nice time. They boys got Veggie Tale CDs in their kid’s meals. On the way home we listened to one about being a friend. Luke said, “Mommy, this song is about Daddy.” I said, “It is? How come?” Luke: “Well, because Daddy is my friend and he helps me brush my teeth!” What a sweet moment! And how drastically different from just an hour before! I couldn’t wait to tell the Hubs about it!
Going back to the whole toy thing… As he was screaming about the toy the thought entered my mind, “If I just get the toy, he will hush. We can go on about our way and all of these people will quit staring at me!” But I knew I couldn’t do that. I care too much about him to just give in. Yes, giving in is usually easier. But it’s not better. And so many people just give in. As I thought about this, God brought this verse to my mind that really stuck out to me when I was reading Shepherding a Child’s Heart:
“Discipline your son, for their is hope; do not set your heart on putting him to death.” Proverbs 19:18
Tedd Trip says this, “The discipline of a child is a parent refusing to be a willing party to his child’s death.”
Some may think that’s a little far stretched. Giving in.. letting some things go… turning your head to avoid seeing something that needs disciplining just because you don’t want to deal with it (I’m speaking to myself!!!) .. especially for young children… doing those things won’t really lead to your child’s death. Will it? I mean come on, we’re not talking about a teenager drinking or doing drugs. We’re talking about a three year old. Lets put things in a more eternal perspective. My desire, hope and prayer is for my children to know Christ. I want them to know Christ above all else. I’d rather them know Christ than be healthy, successful and wealthy. And when does that training and disciplining start? As soon as they are given to me! Where my child will spend eternity is at hand! I must be intentional in discipline. I must be intentional about training them up. I must be intentional in teaching about Christ. Slack now will only lead to an unruly child/adolescent and “I don’t even want to think about it” teenager. My child may make choices one day that go against God’s Word. But I want to do everything in my power now to train them up and I will hold tightly to God’s promise:
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6