Sunday, November 8, 2009

Thanks in parenting November 8th

We don't get much more beautiful than the weather God gave us today!

Nikelle's school had scheduled a fall walk for this afternoon and I had the privilege of taking her. It was a short walk to the library which was followed up by listening to some stories. The outing ended with a scavenger hunt for the kids. Everyone who completed the hunt received a prize. The normal junk prizes or a certificate for a free shake at Steak 'n Shake. I, of course, attempted to encourage Nikelle to go for the shake. However, she was insistent on choosing the plastic vampire teeth. There was no hesitation in making her choice despite my effort - until we left the library.

As we were walking back to the van with some friends, Nikelle informed me that she wanted a different prize. Normally I would not have gone for this. She made her choice and we left. Today, in particular, it was out of the question! Those plastic teeth had already been in her mouth. She reasoned that she would just wash them. Needless to say, I had one very unhappy 7-year-old.

Nikelle ran up ahead and my friend encouraged her daughters to catch up with Nikelle. My normally pokey daughter was able to rummage up some speed today to keep running ahead of her friends every time they would catch up with her. Enough was enough! I caught up with her and had a discussion which resulted in a very heartless apology and a lame goodbye.

As we got into the van, I was really at a loss for how to impress upon my daughter why I was so disheartened by the situation. I already had her writing a list of 20 things she was grateful for once we got home but I just didn't have any ideas as to how I could drive home my point further.

Pulling out of the parking lot, Nikelle noticed her friends rolling down the hill. She begged for me to go back so she could play with them. I received the lovely gift of tears and sobbing the entire way home. There was even a dramatic production of overexaggeration with how "I'll never get to play there again", "I'll never have anymore fun", and "God gives me second chances".

I could continue with the story but it really isn't necessary. Today I am thankful for natural consequences. The fact that Nikelle missed out on playing with her friends was the natural consequence to her choice to be ungrateful and crabby.

Thank you, Lord, for natural consequences. Thank you that when I really don't know how to be a parent, you are always at work. Fill each of us in this house with gratitude, Lord. We have so very much. And thank you that Nikelle's list of 20 things she was thankful for was stretched to 22.

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