Putting on the new

*2006 post*

Ephesians 4:22-24

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

We practice this putting off the old self and putting on the new each day in our home. I think it began a few years ago with our daughter. When she would speak unkindly or without manners, we would correct her and then require her to restate her request using the words “please” or “thank you”. That simple practice has morphed into a more purposeful putting off and putting on in areas of training/correction with our children.

A recent example:

Two days ago, I watched my 15-month old son pick up two toys and place them in the toy bin. I praised him with, “Good job cleaning up!” A few minutes later, we were ready to leave the room and he was holding onto the last toy. I touched the toy bin and said, “Put the toy in here, please” and waited for him to obey. He knew exactly what I was asking but held onto the toy. I repeated my request, and when I saw that he was not obeying, I swatted his hand. He cried and stood firm, clutching his toy. This battle ensued for about 20 minutes. I continued to state the simple request and he continued to disobey. A couple of times he angrily threw the toy down on the ground, or he put the toy in another bin. Each time he did this, I handed the toy back to him (or made him pick it up if he’d thrown it down), and pointed to same bin I’d been pointing to the whole time. “Please put it here.” He knew where I wanted it; but was being obstinate. Finally, after many tears and many swats on the hand, he relented and put the toy away. This action resulted with hugs and kisses and praise for being “such a good boy; obeying mama!” Then we began to move away until I remembered this concept that we try to practice: putting on the new. So I took him back to the ‘scene of the crime’, pulled that same toy out of the bin, handed it to him and stood him in the same spot he’d been standing in. I said again, pointing to the bin, “Please put the toy here”. He kind of whimpered, like: “We’re doing this again?!” but he obeyed, right away. This was met again with praises and hugs from me.

We try to do this for all things. If our oldest son pushes or says something unkindly to his younger brother, he is disciplined and then goes and makes things right by putting on the new: hugging his little brother and saying something kind, like “I love you”. When our daughter throws something on the ground in anger, we make her pick it up and walk through the RIGHT behavior. When she stomped through the kitchen last night with a crabby face, we spoke with her about her attitude, and made her go back to where she’d started that attitude, and walk through the kitchen without stomping and with a smile on her face. If the kids are on a time-out for any reason, we tell them to stay in the room until they are ready to come out with a happy heart; with a changed attitude. If they come out and are still grumpy or disrespectful or frowning, they get sent right back to their time-out. When they come out, I’ll even say, “Do you have a happy heart? Can you show mama your happy face?” and wait for a genuine smile.

This has been such a great training tool in our home!

1 comment:

  1. Jul. 14, 2006 - Amen!
    Posted by Rebeca
    This was a good reminder for me. It's so easy to do the correction part and leave off the "training in righteousness" that they so need.
    And isn't it amazing how quickly they can make a choice and change their attitude? It's a good reminder for me when sometimes I want to hold onto my "justified" irritation, or allow myself to harbor feelings of anger. I too, through the Lord, can make the *choice* to be thankful and joyful instead and the feelings will follow. I'm often convicted by the things I say to my kids!
    May the Lord bless you today as you bring up your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord,


    Jul. 14, 2006 - good job mama!
    Posted by reformingmama
    It is so much easier to talk about doing this kind of good work than actually doing it. Well done loving your kids enough to take the harder less traveled road to discipline.
    It reminds me of what I read in "No Greater Joy" last night. When asked why he makes his 2 year old eat every green bean on her plate, a smart daddy answered "so she wont do pot when she's a teenager!" I thought it was very clever and very true. If we take them down the road of discipline now, they will reap the rewarding fruit of discpline later!
    Love you, Amy


    Jul. 17, 2006 - Untitled Comment
    Posted by Joni
    Hey Stacy,

    Thanks for the reminder. We used to do this more, especially after reading the book, "Don't Make Me Count to Three" by Ginger Plowman. Have you read this one? If not, I'm sure you'd love it. Anyway, we'd kind of drifted away from it and are now practicing it again. I sometimes get lazy and need to remember I'm training my children for life and every second counts. Great post!



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