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April 10, 2008

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Don Fields

Jay,

Thanks for your extended reply and your friendship. You are a big encouragement to me and the regular postings here serve as a consistent reminder of the importance of parenting.

Michelle Brock

Thanks for the toddler posts. They are thought provoking and helpful.

I think one reason parents don't have these kinds of discussions with their children is that when they try it, it feels awkward. It's easy to blame the awkwardness as impractical theory rather than simple inexperience. At least, I hope it's simple inexperience, because I need a lot more practice! :D

About the fighting question... I wonder though whether it is appropriate to teach what is fair (we don't take things away from someone; we don't demand someone else give up a toy the minute he picks it up) before teaching what is loving and unselfish. It seems without this baseline (and I'm talking at a 18-month-old level) appealing to God's authority doesn't make sense.

Wouldn't you say that Jesus followed this pattern? "You have said... but I say unto you..."?

Just thinking out loud here. I'm open to correction. :)

Jay Younts

Michelle, the reason that I mentioned family worship in the blog was to highlight the need to talk about what is expected before it happens. You are right, new things will "feel" awkward. This is why family worship is a great time to anticipate "squabbles", etc. You can even role play a potential event, such as the arrival of a new toy truck. Since you know that two boys will be already scheming how they can have the truck for themselves you can head this one off at the pass. This "experience" working things through in family worship time can make the experience of addressing this issue "in the moment" more comfortable. Let me know if this helps. Thanks for your question - these issues are where we live with our children.

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Guide to Family Worship