Sunday, May 24, 2009


I had a revelation today in parenting! For some reason, I have been thinking that first-time-obedience (you know, the "you say, they obey, right away" expectation) came with only one round of training. That I would only have to train them in a matter one time, and then, if I am a good and successful mom, they will obey, right away (and with a happy heart) each time thereafter.

But now I have a new thought. Perhaps parenting is less about achieving perfect first-time obedience and more about fighting bacteria! When my little one gets a bacterial infection and I go to the doctor, he doesn't hand me a quick fix, he gives us a bottle of pink goop to be administered three times a day for the next 2 weeks! And I can't stop when the symptoms clear in one week. I have to keep administering the meds until the bottle is empty.

Now, I am not too good at keeping up with antibiotic dosing, and it appears that I am far worse with discipline dosing! My daughter dawdles in finding her Sunday sandals. I think that with one stern lecture and consequence I have given her a big enough dose for the medicine of discipline to work Instead, perhaps I need to have the same compassion for her that I have in time of illness. Come along side her, walk with her, watch the symptoms of her slowness and find out the true root issue. Then, for the next two weeks three times a day, apply the training as I guide her in improving her ability. And even when, after the first week, when she appear to have killed off the dawdling bug, I must not let up but continue to help her improve.

If it takes 2 weeks to kill off a little buggy causing an ear infection, I am sure it takes at least 2 weeks retrain a habit that is causing an infection of the soul.

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