gumballs from heaven
April 22, 2007 7 Comments
Never miss out on an opportunity to feed you children!
Family Life is full of opportunities to get involved. It is never difficult to find a subject for a lesson to teach your children. All you have to do is wait…
We had to run some errands after church.
My daughter (8) is very vocal and honest and has no dimmer control on her inner monologue switch, so I was well aware that she was not happy about the trip. She is super smart and an Oscar winning actress, so when the “tired face” came on I knew I had to act fast. So here was the plan…
“Honey, you go do the food shopping thing and I will smokescreen the kids into being excited about shopping for our sons (12) science project stuff. It is ‘whatever o’clock‘ and we will meet at the registers at ‘whatever’ 45“.
So the kids and I agreed that we were there to execute a mission and I needed there help to complete it. The journey was not bad compared to some of the things you probably have seen in a Superstore. I only had to tell my daughter once that she wasn’t getting a toy on this trip, even though she was kind enough to allow Mommy and Daddy to go to the store to buy her food. My son also stayed preoccupied and actually helped me to pick out some stuff that would help on his project. Before we knew it, it was “whatever 45” and we were in line, paid and rolling out the door.
There was certain unrest in the air as we passed the gumball machines. I saw some whispering, the exchange of currency, and the first smile my daughter cracked in about an hour. SHE WAS GETTING GUMBALLS. Maybe it was just that she was getting ANYTHING after the pain and suffering that we put her through. So she put in her money… and dropped the gumballs.
Here it comes……….Frown, tears, and what I like to call “The Ambulance Voice”. (You get the idea).
I gave her more money for some more candy and excused both of us from the rest of the family so that we could have a talk. I suggest doing this when you feel disciplining is necessary. Removing the embarrassment of an “audience” is one of the single most important things you can do to teach your children respect. Especially when it is their family and/or friends.
That being said, I explained to her that although crying is sometimes the perfect response, it did not seem to fit for her current situation. I explained to her that there was a series of things that did not go her way that day and I knew that was frustrating. I taught her about confronting “the last straw” and validated her feelings. However, she needed to understand that tears were too strong of a response for something that could have easily been fixed. She needed to know that when she can’t see the answer to what is bothering her, she needs to talk about it with the people she loves. She didn’t have to be alone. We can work things out together. We are a family and that’s what it is about. Even if we just pray about it together and see what happens. At least we are together!
Think of how powerful this would be if we all acted on this when we had the chance? What is your child’s Safe Haven? Is it in Christ? Is it in Family? Is it in the Community of your Church?…
…Or is it in a gun collection in their dorm room where they sit alone, tired, confused, and disappointed, trying to figure out what the proper response is to their “dropped gumball“?