Sometimes I think my expectations are a little high. I mean, my children are seven, six and five. Not exactly ready to be moving out and living on their own, but they're not babies either. There are some things they should be able to do on their own, and others that maybe are just a bit too hard for them.
I have been thinking a lot about certain discipline problems we've been facing, and I keep wondering if I've actually trained them to do the things I expect, or if I have just assumed they know how to do something because it's common sense to me.
For example: when you take a pony tail out of your hair, and some hair comes with it, you remove the hair, toss it out, then replace the pony tail into the container it belongs in. Right? Well, that almost never happens here, and as a result we find ponytails all over the house, tucked in the furniture, in the hallway, kitchen floor, all in various states of hairyness.
Now, the Prince and I complain to the girls and remind them to pick them up, but I wonder if I have ever taken the time to gather the girls together, pick up a pony tail from the floor, remove any and all hair stuck to it, thrown it in the garbage, put the pony tail into the proper container, and remind them that's what I expect every time they're done with one.
There are SO many more examples I could name.
Sometimes I need to remember that training isn't just spanking or disciplining when they haven't done what I asked, but taking the initiative to show them how to do it, letting them do it with me, having them do it while I watch them, and then allowing them to do it on their own.
Just like we do with spiritual discipleship. We take a new Christian, show them what the Word of God says about various topics (soul winning for example), let them watch us do it, take them out to do it with us, watch them do it on their own, and then send them out to keep on. We don't send out a baby Christian into the world and say "Go get 'em!", then discipline them or be angry when they've failed or been unsuccessful.
So, when I am frustrated with a certain behavior, I need to think of whether I have trained them properly to do the right thing, or if I have an unfair expectation. If they aren't complying with my expectation because I haven't properly trained them, then the fault is mine.
Training is so much more than discipline. I need to remember my children's ages, their limitations, and remember to TEACH them and TRAIN them to do that which I expect. Any thoughts?