I Chronicles 29:11 "Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all."

Saturday, December 04, 2010

IAGTYCS


Photo courtesy of: this site

Wondering what those letters stand for? Perhaps:

I Am Getting Tired: Yank Corn Strings.

Nope. Besides, that makes no sense.

If A Guy Takes Your Clutch, Scream!

Um, no. But nice try!

What they stand for in my mind is just this:
It's A Good Thing You're Cute Syndrome.

What does that mean? Well, let's suppose you're talking to a dog. A very cute teacup size pup who has somehow single-handedly managed to destroy every pillow in your house (including couch cushions) and is now sitting in the midst of the pile-o-fluff looking up at you with those, well, puppy dog eyes.

Your first thought is to drop kick it across the room right? [That goes double if it's a cat we're talking about.] This is going to cost a lot of money to fix. But, it keeps looking at you with it's head all cocked to one side, those eyes wide and innocent-looking...he's telling you "I had no idea that if I did it to one pillow, the rest would pop open too. I....I...[blinking slowly a few times] am so ashamed!!"

Now tell me, when you rear that foot back, see the dog wince, then resort to the "It's A Good Thing You're Cute" Syndrome and let it go, have you taught that dog not to do it again?

Nope. You've pretty much just given him the green light to tear up anything he wants anywhere in the house. Tell me I'm wrong.

Let's take it a step further. Have you ever seen a child who is SOOO cute that they get away with murder? I don't mean actual murder, because I don't think being cute would excuse that for anyone, but I mean this child's behavior can be downright rude, they can talk ugly to others, act selfish, and yet they get off scott-free because they are "cute".

I am not even going to mention where I have seen children like this before, [pretty much every place I've ever been] so don't think I am talking about YOUR KIDS as you read this, because chances are I have never even met your kids. [But if your first thought was: "I suffer from this syndrome!", you might take it as a clue that the Lord is convicting you. Just a thought.]

Let me give you a real-life scenario, ok? Help you "get" what I mean.

[Scene opens at a dinner party. Several well-dressed families are seated around a large, nice table. Lots of wonderful food is laid out. Everyone is smiling, because it's a special time. Prayer is over and the passing of food begins.]

Dad: [looking to his right] Hey son, pass me the rolls, would you please?

Son: [who is so cute it hurts] No! [smiles a million-watt smile while holding the basket away from his dad.]

Dad: [chuckling] Haha. [a little stern now] Son, please give me a roll.

Son: Ok! [throws a roll and hits dad in the head. Then continues throwing rolls at everyone, and knocks grandma's glasses into her gravy and mashed potatoes.]

Dad: [obviously frustrated and slightly embarrassed in front of everyone] It's a good thing you're cute! [grabs bread basket from son and places it firmly on the table. Looks around for confirmation of this fact through the glares of others]

[The End]

Now, what did we learn here? What kind of behaviors and thought processes are being encouraged? Did 'son' obey? Absolutely not! He is obviously not used to ever obeying, as he wouldn't pass the rolls to his dad the first time he was asked, and even flat-out said 'No'.

His misbehavior is not dealt with at all. He has been rude, disobedient, destructive [poor grandma!] and disrespectful. All in the span of forty-five seconds or so. Yet no one has corrected him, or made him apologize, or stopped him.

His father has just told him that because he is cute, he can do whatever he wants.
What would the sentence "It's a good thing you're cute" end with if 'Dad' had finished his thought? "It's a good thing you're cute, or I would drop kick you across the room." or "It's a good thing you're cute, or I would tan your hide right now." or "It's a good thing you're cute, or I would send you to bed without any dinner or getting to open presents." or "It's a good thing you're cute, or I would sell you to the gypsies!"

You can finish that sentence with any number of idle threats. And that's what they would be; idle threats. Children who are allowed to behave poorly because they may be cute, will be unmanageable by the time they are four or five. Not dealing with rudeness, lack of obedience, and disrespect breeds monsters.
Can I let you in on a little secret? Compliance with a bad attitude, stomping feet, and whining voice is NOT obedience. Like the girl above. She is standing in the corner, yes, but letting you know she's not happy about it. She needs drop kicked across the room properly disciplined.

And that one sentence [It's a good thing you're cute] reinforces the idea that pretty people are better than ugly people, and ought to be able to do whatever they want. If it were a child who was equally as wrong, but didn't have dimples and perfect teeth and shining eyes, would they be spared? Do we overlook discipline in "cuter" children just because they are cute? What kind of message does that send? Cuteness fades real quick. Remember that.

I guarantee if your old mangy hound dog tore apart every pillow in the house, you could think of plenty of things to do to it as punishment so it would never do that again. And you would probably do every single one of them.

What it boils down to is parents being lazy.

There, I said it.

Instead of dealing with obvious behavior issues, they throw out the 'It's a good thing you're cute' sentence, and move on. Please don't do that. For your sake [so you don't have a monster on your hands later], for my sake [so I don't wish I could drop kick your kid across the room], and for grandma's sake [because no one deserves not to have their glasses knocked into their gravy more than her], discipline your kids!

Control your young!

Don't take the cop-out and laugh "It's a good thing you're cute!" instead of doing what you know they need.

And just FYI, other people resent you and your kids when you let them behave poorly. They may not say anything to you [because of the cries of 'judgmental' and 'critical' so prevalent among the brethren these days, and a little issue most parents have with swallowing pride] but trust me, they are thinking of all kinds of ways they could get your kid to behave. And they are acting them out in their mind. Seriously.

I'm not saying 'Dad' should grab the arm of 'Son' in front of everyone and demand an apology right there at the table. 'Son' would be embarrassed and wouldn't do it anyway. What I want is for 'Dad' to take him out of the room [by restraint if necessary], explain to him why he was wrong, spank him with a rod and not his hands [or whatever you do for punishment that is reasonable], make sure he is repentant, pray with him, set the expectation for apology and behavior when they re-enter the room, and then bring him back to apologize. If he refuses, start all over again. If 'Dad' is unwilling to do this every single time he disobeys, then he is going to have a monster on his hands very shortly. Not so cute now, is it?

Yes, it's a lot of work. Yes, it is time-consuming. Yes, it is frustrating to repeat yourself four hundred times a day. Yes, they should 'get it' a lot sooner. But part of our job as parents is to TRAIN our children. We do this through repetitive, consistent discipline. They are creatures of habit just like we are. Don't lower your expectations. Help your child achieve them with a firm, but loving hand. My children are not perfect by any means, but I am happy to say that by following this formula, they are very well behaved almost all the time.

It has nothing to do with them being angels and everything to do with the fact that we disciplined them from an early age and didn't let it slide just because they were cute. Or funny. Or because I didn't feel like getting up and dealing with it again. We were given good advice early on, and I was determined to follow it. I didn't want children who ruled the nest. I wanted children who had a strong conscience, were a joy to be around, and who were easily convicted and repentant.

So, be the grown up. Discipline your kids in spite of their cuteness. And respect the people around you enough to not let your child get away with bad behavior. If you're a Christian, consider your child's ways. Do they honor the Lord in their behavior? If not, it needs to change.

Proverbs 29:15 "The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame."

2 Comments:

  • Great-Granny Grandma

    Oh how I just love, love this post. Amen!!!

  • Herding Grasshoppers

    Well said, from one Julie to another.

    When I think of this, I think of Isaiah 30:18.

    I know I'm wrenching it out of context, but it says this:

    Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you;
    therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
    For the LORD is a God of justice.

    First, He rises up. He doesn't just sit there. He gets up. Which is a large part of discipline - getting up to DO IT.

    And disciplining your kids IS compassionate. The Proverbs say that to NOT discipline is to hate your child, but to discipline is to save him from destruction.

    so maybe not completely out of contect? :D

    Julie

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