Hello again, friends!
I always enjoy sitting down at my computer to "visit" with you!
Are you having a nice summer?
I like winter, but there's just nothing like waking up to warm sunlight streaming across my bed, and birds singing outside my opened window!
I always do an early morning walk around our property, with shears in hand, to find flowers for the house. I wasn't sure what I'd come up with this morning since the peonies are done and the hydrangeas aren't here yet...
But I sort of like my random little arrangement...
This actually isn't what I had planned on writing about, though.
(I just wanted a pretty photo to get this post started! Haha...)
I was hoping to give a little encouragement to young mama's on the topic of running errands with babies and toddlers.
It can be difficult, can't it friends?
They will fight you! Haha...
Modern-day methods of dealing with unruly children include things like, time-outs, attempting to reason with them, negotiation, compromise, caving into their whining and succumbing to their wishes... All of these methods, as any seasoned parent knows of course, DO NOT work!
The Lord has given us a better way.
"He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him."
~ Proverbs 13:24
When dealing with a baby or toddler, any disobedience must be met with swift correction, so that they learn cause and effect. Disobedience = something unpleasant. If you wait too long after the offense, they won't know what they're getting spanked for. Match their disobedient act with discipline as quickly as you can!
This can be done easily at home. But it is not easy when you are out and about running errands!
I have finally reached a season in my mothering where shopping with my children is relatively pleasant and easy. But it took discipline to get here!
I'd like to share with you a story...
Years ago, when my oldest was a toddler, and I was hugely pregnant with my second, I was trying to grocery shop in the middle of a snowstorm. As if all of that isn't difficult enough, near the end of our trip my toddler began pitching a fit that quickly escalated into an all-out temper tantrum!
I put my face close to his and quietly, but sternly said, "No. No fits. Stop your fit."
He completely disregarded me. So I said, "Are you going to obey and stop your fit?"
He showed no signs of wanting to obey.
I knew I had a decision to make.
I could let him disobey me and finish my shopping, or I could drop what I was doing to correct his behavior.
I have never felt comfortable spanking my children in public, so I knew this would require a trip out to the car.
(A quick note on spanking in public... Of course you have to do what is right for you. Maybe you are comfortable with it and can do it discreetly and not care what others think. That is great! But, I've always felt like our culture is dark is perverted and would not recognize godly parenting. The bible says, "The word of God is foolishness to those who are perishing." 1 Cor. 1:18 Also, I've never been up for dealing with strangers and their foolish comments. "Do not answer a fool according to his folly." Prov. 26:4 )
But anyway, back to my story...
To say it was greatly inconvenient to stop in the middle of that shopping trip to take my toddler (and my waddling pregnant self) out to the car that day, would be an understatement.
I did not want to do it.
It was snowing and the parking lot was a slushy mess... My shopping cart was full, and I hadn't paid for anything yet... My toddler was screaming... I was huge, sore, and tired... And all alone...
Do you feel sorry for me, yet? Haha...
I wheeled my full cart up to the front door greeter, smiled and said through the screaming, "Can I please leave my cart with you for a few minutes? I need to take my son out to the car but I will be right back to pay for my groceries."
I abandoned my cart, scooped up my diaper bag and flailing toddler, and waded through the icy parking lot to our car.
I remember it being physically challenging.
I wedged myself awkwardly into the back of the car to administer the spanking.
Then I spoke firmly to my toddler.
I said, "You may NOT scream at me in the grocery store. That is a no-no. I expect obedience. Are you ready to go back in and do the right thing?"
I am hoping this next part of the story will encourage you young mama's with toddlers... and that is, I have never had another issue with this particular child in a store ever since.
God rewarded my efforts.
My heart in writing this to you is not to brag. I fully realize my children and I are nothing special!!! I'm just wanting to help show you that God's ways are best and they work!
"As for God, His way is perfect. The word of the Lord is flawless."
~ Psalm 18:30
"Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death."
~ Proverbs 23:13-14
Now, fast-forward several years later... My children are enjoyable to have along on shopping trips! To have them with me is not a burden at all!
(Of course you realize that this doesn't stem from just this one instance of discipline, but from a consistent, daily habit of disciple through the years and a habit that I'm still doing today!)
"Discipline your son, and he will give you peace; he will bring delight to your soul."
~ Proverbs 29:17
The above photo is from our most recent shopping trip.
Soren was having a hard time understanding why Roman got a treat and no one else did, which is why he looks bummed in this picture.
I tend to expect a lot from Roman since he's the oldest. It's always his job to push the second cart and follow behind me and keep up. It's a big job, and he does it well! (When you have a big family and a big house, one cart is no longer sufficient.)
So, on this particular shopping day, I decided to "thank" him by allowing him to pick out a small treat.
I told him that I appreciated his help, and that it always means a lot to me when he's willing to do it with a happy heart!
And it was a good lesson for the other kids, as well. Soren said, "How come I don't get a treat?! This isn't fair!" I was able to teach them that, "Yes, it is fair. When a person does extra work, he gets extra payment."
Now I've got children fighting over who will help me push the second cart next week! They all want to do it! Haha...
Well anyway, friends... I know this wasn't my usual post on home living, but getting out of the house to grocery shop is a big part of life for homemakers. Our weekly errands greatly affect our schedule and our home life. It's all connected! And children should learn that whatever the rules and standards are in the home, will be carried over into public, as well!
"Children merely want to know where the boundaries lie and who's available to enforce them."
~ Dr. James Dobson
My husband taught me years ago how to look at the bigger picture in regards to discipline. He would say, "If we can break their stubborn will and teach them to obey what we instruct, then they should have no problem submitting to the Lord and His ways when they're older, because it's been built into their framework."
That certainly became my vision, and what is always in the back of my mind when I discipline.
"Where there is no vision, the people perish; but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
~ Proverbs 29:18
I cannot say I've done it perfectly right each and every time, but I pray the Lord will honor my efforts and that my children will grow "in the fear and admonition of the Lord." Eph. 6:4
Thanks for taking the time to read today, friends!
~ Courtney ~
Disclaimer: Everything I write is just my own experiences and beliefs, meant to encourage and build up believers. I am not an expert, or a teacher. I am a nobody. Please study the scriptures for yourself. Talk everything out with your husband, and come to your own conclusions.