Unlearning Behavior

Right after taking a picture of our Party of Six enjoying participating in dinnertime, this happened:

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Before you think they are the most lovable cubs in the world, let me explain why they are hugging in the front yard.

Part of our normal morning routine is a family devotion.  We read a scripture, a daily lesson, and a memory verse.  Then, we have the cubs discuss what the lesson meant to them, and we wrap it up with prayer.  This morning, Cubs 1 and 2 had a hard time getting along.  The brotherly love was not evident, and it was petty stuff.  Cub 1 was putting on his shoes, but he propped his foot up on Cub 2’s stool.  Cub 2 kept knocking Cub 1’s foot down off of his stool.  By the time I read the last word of the memory verse, they were fussing at each other!  So, instead of discussing what they learned from the lesson, we went straight to praying.  Cub 3 lead us all in the Lord’s Prayer and we loaded up the truck for school with MUCH attitude from Cubs 1 and 2 still.

So, I decided to revisit the lesson during dinnertime this evening because it really was a great lesson on using the gifts God has given you, and not being jealous of others’ gifts.  Would you believe that they started fussing again?!  That’s when PB pulled a Bill Cosby-type-of-move and made them both leave the dinner table.  They had to go outside and stand in the front yard and hug each other for a few minutes without pushing each other away.  Then, PB had them tell each other something that they loved about the other.   I’m not sure that they got anything out of it at all, but for tonight we didn’t have anymore arguments.

It’s been one of those days when I ask, “Where do they get this from?!”  PB and I aren’t mean to each other, and definitely don’t push and shove!  Expecting our cubs to learn only by what we model is not the answer (obviously).  We never have to teach our children to do wrong…it comes naturally to them (and us). As Christian parents, we are to keep God’s commandments.  “Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children.  Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night.” (Deut. 6)  Sometimes, doing the right thing has to be taught to our children with examples and explanation…and more examples…and more explanation…and more examples…and more explanation.  It’ll stick one day.

Off and Running!

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4 thoughts on “Unlearning Behavior

  1. Anonymous says:

    Parenting is hard, especially since children do not come with an instruction manual. That’s why we have and need God’s Word for guidance. Your blog always makes me reflect or laugh and sometimes both. Thanks for giving us real life examples!

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