It’s always tough as a parent to teach those lessons that aren’t immediately understood.
Hard to know how to react when brotherly violence suddenly erupts in a church lobby.
I witnessed 7 year-old little brother coming up quickly behind 13 year-old big brother.
I could see what was unfolding but I was frozen in my tracks, couldn’t react.
Impact. Little brother rammed his head at full speed into an unsuspecting big brother’s back.
Big brother responded with a quick head-slap the sent little brother head first into the floor crying.
My first instinct was to head-slap big brother.
But that is the beauty of being blessed with four children.
The experience of knowing that big brother had absorbed the swift justice of an open palm to the back of the head
thousands of times before in his career as a WWE wannabe (wild Indian syndrome) when he only deserved hundreds……
led me to the point of showing some restraint.
My second instinct was to pick up little brother and hug on him.
But I waited.
I did nothing (so hard to not protect/defend/console the little guy)….
Until he stood up and buried his face in my belly crying.
And I laid my hand on his head and said, ” are you ok?”
And of course he was.
“Would that have happened if you hadn’t done something first that you shouldn’t have done?”
No reply, but he knew the answer.
It’s easy to miss opportunities to teach kids lessons about the consequences of their actions
if we aren’t intentional and consistent in our efforts.
And it’s hard to teach what we sometimes fail miserably at ourselves.
How many times do we make a poor choice and try to blame someone else when the consequences smack us in the back of the head?
Most bad results that I encounter can be traced back to
1) Something that I did that I shouldn’t have done. or
2) Something that I failed to do or adequately train someone else to do. or
3) Poor planning on my part.
Real life application: when I’m racing down the road to get my son to school before the tardy bell, it will certainly be the fault of the farmer in front of me driving 25mph in a 55mph zone if he is tardy. It won’t have anything to do with the fact that I hit “snooze” 6 times and failed to do anything the night before to prepare for the morning scramble.
Maybe once I start practicing it better, then maybe somebody will believe me when I preach it.
When we make poor choices, bad results are sure to follow.