my way

one of our personal goals as parents is to reach the heart of our children, not just make them well-behaved. it is so important to us that we communicate this to luca and gia at an early age. i want them to understand that my goal is for obedience and discipline interanlly- not just good manners. at the hearts at home conference i went to in march, one of the presenters, ginger plowman, spoke on this subject. she uses a three-part approach to obedience that i loved and implemented once i came home. when luca is not minding me, i simply ask, "how do you obey?"

then (hopefully) he will respond, "right away. all the way. with a joyful heart."

well, he is only two, so we are still working on this, but it is amazing what an influence that question will have on his behavior. i love it because, although he might not understand the words yet, it shows him that, yes i want him to act a certain way, but i also want his heart to be in the right place. as he and gia get older, we will continue to discover who God has created these kiddos to be and how to reach them at a profound level.

luca has been intent on doing everything for himself lately. pouring the milk in his cup, making his sandwich at lunch, opening doors, putting on clothes, etc. for the most part this is great. sure things may take a bit longer, but this independence shows that he is willing to try new things and learn more skills. sometimes it is frustrating, like when he gets mad (yells, throws, and cries) because i won't let him get gia out of her crib or use a sharp knife to cut fruit. and sometimes, it is just funny. this weekend, while driving in the car, luca was taking off his sandals, which is another new habit. he went to throw the sandal into the front seat and i told him, "no, luca, please put your sandal down."

well, my polite command was followed by him raising the sandal again in preparation to throw. i took the sandal (jesse was driving) and said, "luca, how do you obey?"

the boy looked me in the eye and said, "my way!"

what do you say after that? well, i am sure there is a better response than quickly turning around and laughing so he could not see my face. jesse and i could not make eye contact for several minutes for fear of letting him know how humorous it was. i guess we still need to work on this one. such is life, and parenthood.


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