This last weekend Mark and I went to the MACHE homeschooling conference held
in Minnesota for two days. We learned so many tools to put in our parenting and teaching belts. We walked away with a glimpse into the different ways boys and girls learn. We walked away with a better grasp on how to engage my preschoolers while teaching my first grader. We also learned how to better teach our kids habits and character!
During one of the classes on forming habits I began to pray and seek the Lord for the habit we needed to address first. I knew that we have a fairly good grasp on obedience in our house. I had an idea of what habit to address first, but I wanted to make sure I was on the right track. I talked with Mark and we both prayed and decided the area we need to tackle first is whining. All of our kids whine from time to time, but, one of our kids in particular thinks that whining is the best form of communication. Now that I knew whining was the first habit to address, the next thing to do was pray, pray, and pray some more! Pray for wisdom, pray for the soil of their hearts and minds to be ready to be tilled, ready to be molded. We can plant the seeds, we can provide the training, but, if their hearts aren't ready the seeds will fall among rocks or be plucked up by "birds".
I decided to use the story of David and Goliath. We acted out the story and the kids learned that David's brothers, the ones sent to fight Goliath were grown men like their daddies, grandpa's and how David was young like their cousin Elijah. I told them that David knew that it was not himself that would defeat Goliath, but that it would be God using him to kill Goliath. I then shared with them that in our lives Goliath is not always a person. Sometimes, Goliath is the hard thing we have been asked to do. Goliath in our lives can be having to pick up the toy room, eating something we don't like, having a good attitude when we would rather whine and complain. I told them that Daddy and I were no longer going to accept whining. I told them that our new slogan was going to be "whining gets you nothing". We talked about how David did not whine and fuss about facing the giant. He was bold and called on the name of the Lord to help him and he won his battle! When we call on the name of the Lord he will bring us help!
We have already begun operation no whining. Last night Naomi was whining at reading time and she was sent to her bed and was not allowed to read with us. Today, Maddie was having a hard time getting a grip on her whining and complaining. I reminded Maddie that this was a Goliath in her path right now and to be like David and ask for God's help. Remembering David's good attitude, helped Maddie to calm down and get control of her attitude.
We were taught that a habit takes 6-8 weeks to master. We are at the beginning stages of our training and I do say ours. Because Mark and I are just as much mastering the art of not grumbling and complaining just as the kids our.
I hopped on the Internet to find some articles on dealing with whining, one article I found it home. The author said that it is important to replace the whining with gratefulness and thankfulness
. Which excites me, because really, we are mastering two habits rolled into one. Learning the art of seeing what he have been given or are being given and being content to not have more. Learning to be thankful, learning see the blessing in what we already have.
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord I am able to instill in my children Godly habits that will see them well through life. Scripture says, Philippians 2:14-16 "Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life".
Lord, mold us and shape us into your image!