Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Battles begin...

Today started off relatively calm.
Up before 6 to go buy groceries.
Home with groceries by 7.
Unloaded from car and piled all over the kitchen floor by 7:10.

K woke up at 7:10 crying because she had accidentally wet her bed.
Bed changed, K up and dressed, things back to calm.
Mack wakes up at 7:20 and seems happy.
Within 20 minutes or so, it was quite clear that Mack was not happy.
He had definitely woken up on the wrong side of the bed crib this morning.

It all started over something simple. He made a bad decision and decided to throw his milk cup at Marcus.
At close range.
All while screaming "NOOOO!!!!"
Keep in mind here, he's only 18 months old. This shouldn't be starting til at least 2, right? (if any of you know K this last question is bound to make you laugh...she came out of the womb screaming NOOOO!)

We asked Mack to say "Sorry" to Daddy.
He responded by flinging himself onto the ground and screaming "NOOOOO!!!" again.

We took him to his room and gave him the happy heart speech. He stayed quiet in his room playing, but when I went to get him, he still refused to say sorry.
Repeat this cycle about 10 times for at least 30 minutes. Bringing him out, telling him to say 'Sorry', and him flat out refusing.

You may be thinking why in the world we chose to make such a big deal out of this.
The offense was little, yes, but the emotions behind that offense are worth disciplining.
James Dobson says 'pick your battles and then win decisively'.
In our house, disrespect is a battle worth fighting.
And by Mack refusing to say 'sorry' or give his Daddy a hug, he was showing disrespect.
At 18 months, Mack was battling for control or power over this family.
And that is worth battling over.

After about 40 minutes and Marcus trying various approaches, Mack still would not consent.
Marcus was late for work already and HAD to leave.
I whispered to him in the hallway, "What do I do now?!"
After sticking it out and consistently, calmly disciplining Mack, I needed (and wanted) to 'win'.
Not because I wanted to 'win' in that sense of the word, but because I wanted him to learn what we were trying to teach him.

Marcus said, "I guess we have to concede", but neither one of us were happy about it.
He got all his stuff together and began walking towards the door.
As he opened the front door to leave, Mack came running down the hallway towards him.

He ran straight to Marcus, gave him a hug, and said 'Sorry'.

And as soon as he did, we celebrated!
We grabbed him, hugged him, and loved on him.
We told him how proud we were because he did the right thing even though it was hard. I jumped and squealed and made a BIG deal out of it.

He was so proud he could have popped. He strutted around and said "yay!!! hooray!!!' and clapped his hands.

Was this situation worth investing 40 minutes of our lives? Absolutely.
Some may argue and disagree with this point.
Some may say, kids are kids, stop expecting so much of them.
And about part of that statement, they are right.
Kids are kids.
We have to use grace and forgiveness a lot when parenting.
Over and Over and Over. Just like God has to use when parenting us.
But when it comes to matters of the heart...of accepting and yielding to authority, we believe we must take a stand.
If we can't teach our children to submit to our authority, they will never understand how to submit to the Lord's.

 These lessons we are teaching our kids are going to add up to what shapes their little hearts. With a lot of prayer and guidance from God, we are hoping that it's leading them straight towards Him.

So today, we battled.

And then, we celebrated.
Waffles with all the syrup Mack wanted.

And you know what? Since then, he's been obedient, happy, and delightful all morning!

If you're reading this and wondering if these battles will ever get easier with your kids...they will! If you're wondering if it's worth it and maybe you should just give up...DON'T! It IS worth it! Be encouraged and press on.

Love y'all!

 I'm linking up with Women Living Well and Titus Tuesdays!


  1. It is worth it but you will get opposition from other's. Press on, push through and reach those babies hearts. Good job Mama!!!

  2. Good for you! We've had to pick our battles too, but I love when they concede and obey!!! Yay Mack!

  3. You guys are wonderful ... and I miss you.

  4. I know those battles all too well! It's hard to sacrifice all the time and engery but it's worth it. Thanks for sharing! Visiting from WLW.


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