“‘Honor your father and mother’ — which is the first commandment with a promise–‘that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.'”
– Ephesians 6:2-3
Today’s lesson ended in tears. That’s how you know it was a good lesson. I mean that a bit as a joke, but a bit as the truth also. Today we learned about respecting our things. My children are interesting. They’re carrying something around, and when they’re done holding it they drop it in place. They also do not naturally pick up their toys. I have been trying to train them to have one toy out at a time and then put it away before picking out another one. The “training” I’ve been doing has been more verbal than anything else and not very intentional. The progress has been slow. So first thing this morning, we talked about how treating our belongings with respect is important because of how hard dad works to buy these things, and if we just drop them and walk on them we’re ruining them. We then went around the house picking up the toys that had been left out. Next, I explained the new rule. If things are just left out, they would be put in a bin and taken away for a while. Before nap, I noticed the living room had become a dropping ground again. I showed them what had been left out and gave them five minutes for a quick clean up. When the timer was up, I came in and picked up the remaining five things that were out and took them away to put in a bin. Let the tears come. Oh, my oldest was upset. I had taken a couple of her favorite things…or at least one of them became a favorite as it was leaving the house. She let those tears roll. I said, “I’m so sorry. I didn’t want to have to take things away, but you had so many things out that you weren’t able to get them all cleaned up in time.” I then reminded them that we take one thing out at a time and then put it away. I also told them they’d get these things back eventually and that if they didn’t have a bunch of things out, they wouldn’t get more stuff taken away.