Monday, September 1, 2008


This morning I took the girls to S-bux for our last long girls weekend treat. My girls were happily munching on donuts, drinking juice/milk and contentedly coloring. They were pretty quiet too. It was an idyllic scene. In fact, several people walking by our table directed smiles and cute comments our way (mostly because Ilsa was wearing a tutu, t-shirt with a tank top on top and a wool hat).

Then came *those* kids...we've all experienced them at a public place. This 3 year old girl was literally screaming at the top of her lungs, and her mommy was doing nothing other than cajoling her to go inside "like a nice little girl and you'll get a treat". Then came the "we're going to leave if you don't shape up" threats...not followed-through upon. She looked at me and mouthed, "how long will this last?" meaning, it was a phase, right? We could hear the screaming continue into the store (we were seated outside).

I have seen this mommy and kids there before on my Tuesday/Thursday mornings with Ilsa. There is always some issue...and a sheepish retreat from the store.

By this time I'm feeling pretty good about myself. I would never cajole. I follow through on discipline. I have kids who listen. I...I...I... For the most part, my girls are well behaved. They have their moments, of course. So do I (see "angry" below). But this gloating is a sin. It's pride.
Proverbs 16:18 - Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling.

Proverbs 16:5 - Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; Assuredly, he will not be unpunished.

Proverbs 21:4 - Haughty eyes and a proud heart, The lamp of the wicked, is sin.

This mom genuinely appears to be struggling with how to discipline her kids. Since I see her periodically, what should I do? Is being a good example enough? Perhaps no one ever taught her. Maybe she's never stepped through the door of a church. Would it be awfully presumptious to buy her a good book such as Don't Make Me Count to Three? I really don't think that's the best approach. Ooooh, maybe I could bring the book to S-bux and read it; that might be a more-natural way to bring it up. I really feel for this mom and her kids. Things are only going to go downhill from here for her.


Kirsten said...

I know that pride well and struggle with it much myself. I'd say the best place to start is to pray for her. Pray that God would allow your paths to cross frequently and that you would be intentional about reaching out to her. Build a relationship with her. I think her poor parenting skills are probably only a side effect of a much deeper spiritual issue. Pray for her to know Jesus... and then worry about the rest.

stephanie j. said...

Always Godly advice, Kirsten! Thanks. Didn't see her today. Let's hope for Thursday. I can say I was **humbled** today by Ilsa's behavior picking up Ingrid from Pre-K!!

Karisa said...

I'd personally take the book and READ IT ALOUD! ;) Just kidding. I ditto what Kirsten said--that sounds good.

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