Monday, January 24, 2011

monday's mommy mentoring moment-guest post by janette!

one of my favorite treasures in blogland is janette's sage.  her
deeply inspiring spiritual saga frequently collides with hilarious
anecdotes that make my day.  enjoy!

Bubbles - What Works for One Doesn't for Another

google image

After 27 years of parenting six children and absorbing countless parenting seminars and books, the one thing I can say that has held true is, “what works for one doesn’t work for another.”

Each of my children went through what I call the “potty mouth” stage of early childhood.  To discourage this talk, I would march them to the bathroom, while instructing on what should and should not come from their mouths. Each time, I would put a dot of soap on their tongue.  They were not allowed to spit it out and I would explain, “if you are going to  have dirty words come out of your mouth then we need to wash your mouth out.”  This was very effective on the first two....but I must add one of those is in his twenties now and probably could use a trip back to the bathroom.

Our third child entered the world quiet, gentle and passive, yet wanting the admiration of his two older brothers.   He had an eager audience when he entered the “potty mouth” stage, who would encourage him with giggles and applauds for his new vocabulary.  I, again, started down the hall, marching him to the bathroom, repeating the same past instructions given to his siblings.  The siblings followed, anticipating the nasty taste in his mouth that they had experienced AND delighting in the correction of their sibling. (I know THEY had heart issues also...we live in a fallen world.)

Instead of the repentance of a lesson learned, my mild-mannered, non-strong-willed son (most of my kids are), stepped out of the bathroom to put on a show...which was very uncharacteristic of him.  
HE STARTED BLOWING BUBBLES OUT OF HIS MOUTH!!!  His older brothers hit the floor, rolling in laughter....and I have to admit I joined them.  He learned his lesson, but it wasn’t from my method of teaching... it was from a change in his heart.  He still at times will shock us all by doing something so out of character to bring his family a smile.

Lesson learned - What works for one doesn’t always work for the others.

“Train up a child in the way HE should go....” - learning what is right for each child is a challenge, but God made them individuals and He will instruct the parents on the way to train each one.