The interesting thing about writing a blog about your life is that it is so easy to pinpoint what is going on in each season based on the reoccurring themes in your posts. What's going on in my life right now? Parenting issues! So lucky you, you are along for the ride as my blog focuses on this very thing. Your welcome:)
These past few weeks I have found myself having to really pay attention to what my children are watching on television. Not to say we weren't doing that to begin with, but now it is on a different level. About two weeks ago I heard my little 3 year old start calling his brother an idiot. While not the worst word in the world, I certainly don't want to hear it coming out of my children's mouths. Especially to insult someone else. It didn't take me long to figure out that the role model for this behavior came from their new favorite movie Toy Story 3. Needless to say after several reminders not to use that word it came down to taking the movie away for awhile. Unfortunately, that hasn't done much to curb it. Jordan has realized that he has found a way to ruffle some feathers and still smirks every time he says it. This doesn't surprise me as it is his personality to take joy in doing something he shouldn't. And in line with his personality, Nathan began copying this behavior because Jordan was having so much fun with it. You would think being the older brother he wouldn't fall prey to this, but he is a follower to a fault. Now name calling is a favorite past-time it seems. I was finding myself at a loss for how to deal with this until today.
A friend of a friend posted on Facebook that they used Ephesians 4 to discuss unwholesome talk with their kids. BINGO! I am really striving to raise my kids to choose to live as Jesus did and I want to set strong examples for them that are built upon the teachings in the Bible. This was an excellent chance to do just that. So after a car ride home from dinner tonight filled with various names going back and forth (mostly silly stuff but annoying nonetheless) we decided that we would substitute bedtime stories with some time in the Bible. I sat them both down, one on each side and begin to read through Ephesians 4:17-32. We stopped after each verse so that I could explain what it was saying in a way they would understand. I focused heavily on verse 29 which reads (from the NIV): "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." We talked about examples of unwholesome talk (Jordan's favorite part of the whole thing) and how saying those things would make others feel bad about themselves and that we are to only say things that would make others feel good about themselves. This is definitely going to be a conversation we continue over time. After all, they are 3 and 4 and repetition seems to be as necessary as water and breathing at this age. But I am pleased with how the discussion went and hope they took something from it.
This also comes at a time when I have been feeling convicted that as a family we should be taking a break from tv all together for awhile. I will write more about this in a later post but it is just confirmation that this is an area we need to be diligent in when it comes to parenting. May not win us any popularity contests with our kids, but I can live with that!