…but they must first be trained.
A few weeks ago we went to a local craft store to get some sewing supplies FOR THE KIDS and some felt for a project for me. The felt was… down the kid aisle, of course! It couldn’t be with the thread!
Let’s back up a moment. It was a 25 minute drive to the store. When we left the house, I began prepping them (keep your eyes peeled for a post all about this). Told them where we were going. What we were getting and what we were NOT getting. Toys. But, when you send kids down a kid aisle, (this is an especially GOOD kid aisle too… I get lost in it) and expect them to not be distracted then, you must have the mildest tempered children on the planet!
Mine, not mild tempered. So we get to checkout and this strong willed Samson of mine is loudly declaring “I want a toy.” When he buffaloes up, he could be yelling “I am wearing pants” (plainly seen by all) as an argument with any who would fight with him. So I told him to be quiet a few times. I got down on his level, threatened as we all do, smiled at the clerk who was ringing up our items, apologized… then I slinked BACK through the store to the back parking lot where our vehicle was. And, THROUGH THE WHOLE STORE HE YELLED, “I WANT A TOY!”
Needless to say, mama wasn’t happy by the time the baby was off my back and safely buckled into her seat. I love mini vans… really. I crawled right in the back with the kids, all doors closed, and we had a serious mommy heart to heart. He got ahold of himself. Cried. Apologized.
And then I said, “If we weren’t in a hurry…” and I broke off my sentence.
If you get nothing else out of the post, get this. YOU ARE NEVER TO BUSY TO PARENT PROPERLY. So, I changed my sentence. I unloaded everyone. Put the baby BACK on my back and went back inside the store with a calm second child.
Upon reentering the store there was a lady who had witnessed the shrieking in the parking lot who commended me and told me ‘good job’ (if you are ever this lady for someone, please tell them they’re doing a good job!). I shook her hand and asked her her name. It tuned out she had taught school for her whole career in elementary grades. She was the first person my second child had to apologize to by name. We then went through the entire store and apologized to every single employee we could find.
He would address them as Miss First Name and then say, “Please forgive me for disrespecting you and your store.” A couple forgave him. A couple didn’t know what to do. And one went to further lecture him. I wasn’t thrilled with that response, but there’s a lesson to be had there too.
My child learned from this. Actually, all of my children learned from this. They learned that mama isn’t too busy to do the job I’ve been called to do… be their mama. And train them up in the way they should go. They learned that fit throwing isn’t acceptable even in public. They learned that they will accept responsibility for their actions. They learned that apologizing is part of accepting responsibility for their actions.
If you and your spouse, for your whole lives, were taught to own your mistakes, how different would your life be? How much guilt would be gone? How much hurt would never exist? How much less baggage would we all have? A lot less…
You’re training mama. Everyday you’re training. You might be training your children that what they say and do doesn’t matter by your lack of participation in their lives. Or you might be training them to think about the consequences their actions have on them as well as others. Either way… passive or active, you are training. Choose active training. Choose to be there. Choose to raise men and women of tomorrow who own their mistakes and know how to apologize. They’ll thank you in 20 or 30 years. 🙂
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