What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Naughty or Nice?!

Our home is two children less today than it has been for a few days. Corynn is not very patient with the Panda and the Panda is acting like a grumpy bear. I think they both enjoyed having playmates and are missing them-even Andrew, who was outnumbered in the guy department.

I have lots of little projects on my plate this week. Just a few days ago we got a call asking us if we were up for some weekend houseguests. Of course, our door is always open, so of course (Remember this people-and take advantage of it! We do love our visitors!) we said yes! Thankfully, as opposed to two weekends ago, I got a bit of notice-so that I might plan the vittles and prepare a bit.

That is especially important since our miniature houseguests left yesterday. ;-) I must say though, the children were SUPER well behaved, cleaned up after themselves, and were a joy to have over. You can always tell the children who have diligent parents with high expectations for their kids. The children, consequently, are well behaved. Kind. Generous. Quiet(er). FUN to be around. All around good kids.

Got me to pondering just a bit and started me on a tangent. I won't go crazy here, trying to explain it all. But this is the jist of it.

When the Lord said that obedient children are a crown to their mother-He wasn't kidding. Good children speak of the richness of a mother. They give her a reason to hold her head up high, they give her pride and confidence. They are a blessing to her AND to others.

Contrarily, when he said that an ill-mannered undisciplined child is a shame to his father, well, all I can say is "right again." It would seem it may be an understatement at first. Then you really think about the import of 'shame'. Let's ask Webster:

A painful emotion caused by the consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or inpropriety.

A condition of humiliating disgrace.

Undisciplined children should bring SHAME. Not excuses. Not laughter "Ha ha ha. Johnny is so funny when he stomps his feet and scowls at me. Hahaha."

That laughter-that is the voice of humiliation in its attempt to cover itself up. Oh dear me-that drives me crazy.

"Oh-it is just so cute when your child ignores you." "Oh-isn't she precious when she talks back?!?"

That sounds ludicrous when I write it here. Of course, no one would ever SAY those things. But-that is what is meant. That is what is implied. I find absolutely NO humor in that and can't even snigger a bit out of politeness.

It is NOT funny. It is awkward, embarrassing, and a reflection of your SHORTCOMINGS. It is you looking at yourself in the mirror and saying "I have failed."

After re-reading up until this point, I realized I should expound upon something. I am not pointing the finger away from myself. My children are at times naughty. The beginning of this post even speaks about my own kids not being as admirable as I would like them to be today. Surely all children can have ups and downs. All children are at times naughty. It is, after all, their nature. Even mine. So don't think I am not including myself in this mantra. I am. But when my children are naughty. I don't snigger. I don't EVER laugh. I WANT to cry. Just thought I would clear it up. Nope. I am not putting myself of a high horse. I am speaking specifically of parents who allow their children (and by doing so, encourage them) to live in their own selfish, horrible little behaviors without any repercussions. Those parents who are developing a lifestyle for their children of selfishness, spoiledness, and disobedience.

Now-here is a very BIG question I have been pondering lately, and I still don't know the answer to it. I would just LOVE it if I could get some insight here. Maybe at some point I will become less of a fence sitter on the subject and finally make my mind up, once and for all, about the whole thing.

I just spent more time than I wanted to talking about naughty children versus good. Or-better said- disciplined versus NON. Everyone knows there is a difference. Everyone knows children that fall into both categories. So-here is my question.

Should I, as a parent, guard and protect my children from associations and friendships with children who are ill-mannered, ill-tempered, selfish, mean and spiteful and disrespectful? After all-children are impressionable creatures, and often will be tainted with the ill affects for days afterwards.


Would that be too over-protective...after all, not all children/parents have the exact same ideals as you. Besides, the whole world is full of characters all over the spectrum. I can't guard my child forever. And it might prove to be a great lesson to my young, impressionable children: there are good children and bad children. "This is why so-and-so was naughty." "This is why I don't want you to do this."

Of course, you know, as I am homeschooling, that my theory is more the first than the latter. I would rather protect my children from horrible outside influences than to have them be affected by it. I am not going to throw my child to the wolves in order to make a good 'lesson' for him/her.

Of course we know that some situations can't be controlled. But what about FRIENDS? Family? Neighbors? I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject...

Okay. That is done. This post has made a TOTAL transformation from what I had at first intended it to be. When I began, it was just going to be a "been doing this, will be doing this" sort of post. :-) I sure can get on tangents...

Well, my time is up for today and I didn't really say anything that I meant to say. Before I go-I WILL say one thing. The most important. I finally added a few things to my Etsy shoppe. "Finally" being the understatement of the century! Check it out. I have quite a few projects that are in phase 9 out of 10...so I should be adding more things this coming week-INCLUDING-the most Adorable little rodeo baby quilt. Just wait til you see it! If I had a littler boy, I would have kept it for myself!
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