Since we started moving late last summer - I have absolutely blown it when it comes to training my children. I was reading the other day that if your children disobey you in public it is because you are not expecting 1st time obedience at home...ouch. They were right. Not that my kids are bad...my mother regularly calls me from stores to thank me for having such well behaved children :-) But I think that is because she is their Mimi and she overlooks some of their less than desirable qualities!
Part of our new "rural" living experience involves a daily trip the post office to check the post office box. Usually we just visit the side with the boxes, but some days (like today) we have to actually see the postmaster to pick up a package or to send something out. The postmaster just smiled politely as my children acted like a bunch of wild animals in his tiny post office this morning. That just didn't suit me. I was not a happy momma.
Thus begins our Winter Olympics training....
When we got home I made my children stand in the middle of the living room for 5 whole minutes....hands in their pockets with their mouths SHUT tight. And you know what...they did it! I think they were just as surprised as I was. One time I had to tell Joshua to stand still but that was it. Abigail stood with them for the first two minutes then sat down - but she was quiet and still the whole time as well. I was happy enough with that.
Then, while I had their undivided attention...I decided to tackle another pet-peeve of mine - getting in the car. Why on earth does it take my children 15 minutes to get out the door? I grabbed my timer and told them we were going to have a race to see how fast we could get our shoes and our jackets on and get into our car seats. The older two got their jackets and boots in record time (they had just taken them off so they were easy to find) and headed for the door. I thought...great! But by the time they got to the car, Joshua had forgotten the mission and decided to get in the drivers seat and pretend to drive the car. Mission....failed. I explained that they had failed the test and that we would have to try again later. They were disappointed but I think they got the idea.
Later in the afternoon we repeated the drill. This time their boots and jackets weren't close at hand so they had to look for them. Nicole was very upset that she couldn't find her boots. I told her to get any pair of shoes and in to the car -we would find the boots later. When the timer stopped it had taken them (all 3 of them this time) exactly 3 minutes and 10 seconds to get ready and in the car in their appropriate seats. Now that is what I'm talking about!
Our second run presented a great opportunity to talk about why we put things away where they belong. If Nicole had put her boots away when she took them off she would have known right where to find them! A lesson I could probably stand to remember as well...
Not only is this good for mom's sanity - it is great training for emergencies. My children should be given a command..."get your boots and jackets and get in the car" and they should do it...without question and right away! I would have to say this is training with eternal benefits as well - isn't that what the Lord expects of us as well? Wouldn't you like to be disciplined enough to say, "Send me, Lord!" when He asks?
I guess you probably won't see "endurance standing still and quiet" teams or "sprint to the car" teams in the Olympics anytime soon...but we are preparing for life and Godliness and that is far more important! Our "gold medal" will come from the King of Kings when we get to Heaven!
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Phil 3:14
Children, obey your parents in everything,
for this pleases the Lord.
for this pleases the Lord.