Thursday, April 25, 2013

Are you teaching kindness?


I posted this picture earlier this week on Facebook.

I have the sweetest, most thoughtful kid on the planet! Everyday after our run/bike, he puts a cup of water just outside the bathroom while I'm showering so that I'll have something to drink when I get out! #lovemykid

Several people posted on the picture, but one comment really touched me.

A former coworker and good friend, Celeste Cullen, said “It's proof of what a great job y'all are doing!”

Why is it that my first thought is “no, it’s not because of anything I’m doing, he’s just that great of a kid.”

While Cohen is a really great kid, the truth is that he behaves certain ways because we teach him those things. I dislike it very much when I hear a parent say “I can’t change my child’s behavior because that’s just how he/she is.” NOT TRUE! We are all born sinners! We are all born selfish and thinking only of ourselves. It is through Christ and the loving training of a parent that we can teach our children that they are not to be selfish. They should be required to think of others first.

As a person, I want to try to be humble, but today I’m just going to put it all out there. Truth be told, this type of behavior and selfless thinking did NOT happen overnight, and it certainly didn’t happen without LOTS of training.

At first, it was through demanding that he treat others with respect. Then he did kind things because he loved the praise and attention he got from the act. Now, I can see that he does it because he truly loves me. It’s really heartwarming.

Isn’t this the same way God teaches us. At times, He uses difficult situations to teach us difficult lessons. Sometimes we do things God wants us to do because we want or expect a blessing. Later, we do the things God asks of us because we love Him.

Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV)
And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (NKJV)

I guess I’m so tired of parents saying they can’t change their child’s behaviors. I’m sick of parents using their children as an excuse for not being able to do things for others, not being able to make it to things on time, or not being able to bathe daily. There are seasons when it is more difficult, but overall, begin a parent should be a joyful thing, and I feel that as a parent, it is exactly what you make of it.

I LOVE being a mom. I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! It is not always easy. I think I love it so much because my child is a really good kid. He’s sweet, fun loving, and a total clown. Jace and I pray for this child and we want him to grow up to be a responsible member of society. I’ve always said, it’s easier to teach him these simple things at 4, because I’m sure at 14 there are going to be entirely new parenting challenges to face.

So, I ask you…what example are you setting for your children? Are you taking time out of your day to do something kind for someone else? Are you treating those in your own home with kindness? Or are you using your children as an excuse? Are you allowing your children to tell you how to live your life?

I’m not trying to toot my own horn, and believe me, not everyday is like this around my house. I’ve had a glass of water thrown at me before, so his first instinct is not always kindness, but everyday we are working toward that as our ultimate goal.

Thank you Celeste for those kind words, and the truth is we are trying really hard to teach Cohen how to be kind to others. We want him to love others just like Christ loves them.

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully written!! Children learn more by our actions than our words!!