My home is my classroom; and that is how I feel raising Tatum. I pour through books, I read countless articles, I ask a bazillion questions, and I pray. A bunch. (asking for wisdom and patience!) I attack parenting like I did/do teaching, and that is to soak it all in, learning as much as I can along the way.
In my never-ending quest of perfection (ha), I picked up a new book, Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes in You and Your Kids by Turansky and Miller. This will be a keeper. Why? Because it has helped me develop something I want to instill into Tatum (which will go on her wall!) This magic word is not new, and especially not to our Father:
H O N O R
Honor is: Treating people as special,
doing more that what’s expected,
and having a good attitude
(They give a visual of this: We all wish we could receive a gift, but instead we sometimes receive hurtful words. It’s like receiving dirt.) (11)
I have always discuss the value of respect, but I’m changing that now. Not because respect is not important; I’m just stepping it up a notch. This is why:
Respect acknowledge’s a person’s position; honor attaches worth to that person as an individual
Respect teaches manners and proper behavior in the presence of others; honor teaches an appreciation of that person
Respect can become a technique to make a family look good on the outside; honor builds the hidden bonds that provide strength and lasting unity (19)
When I “discipline” Tatum, my goal is to help her not only act correctly but to have a heart attitude of love. This means I have to guide her in her thinking. This is how God made her to be. “Honor addresses what is going on below the surface and considers a child’s heart.” (23) This means that as they say:
“Honor requires us to ask different questions about life.” This means acting and talking that pleases others (no matter if they are present or not). My job is to help her catch that vision of honor so she wants to please others. Moreover, that she not only does what is expected, but does a bit extra. They give an example of a boy who helped a family mow the lawn. Without asking he swept the driveway as just a kind bonus. This caught on in the neighborhood and soon he was flooded with work requests!
Attitude is everything. As cliche as this is, it’s true. When Tatum is just obedient, she is just acting the part. When she is honoring, she is acting WITH an attitude that goes with the actions. If and when she does do something that is unkind, I become VERY sad. She sees my reaction and starts to realize this is not the way to happiness and success for her. Making others and God sad can evoke a better way to do what she has done wrong.
As adults, we have old tapes playing in our heads from when we were children. Hopefully they are positive; For many they may be, “Big boys don’t cry…carrots will make your hair grow…” Some tapes are helpful and some are destructive. If I can be simple in my reactions to Tatum when she does something dishonoring, then perhaps those can be memorable. For example: She says “NO!” I respond: “That was unkind.” She does something mean to Coti, I can say, “That wasn’t very loving.” As the author’s say, “Over time they create a recording in the child’s head.” (101)
I continue to reflect and refine as I teach her in the way she should go. The CORE VALUE wall is on the make in my head. More to come 🙂