When my sweet little Hopey was learning to talk I remember how curious it was to me that she would say words over and over. Being my first, it didn’t bother me at all; I just found it so interesting. (Clearly I had not spent much time with babies)
At some point it occurred to me that that was how she learned. That was how she mastered her words and concepts. I’m pretty sure she didn’t think, “That word ‘cracker’ is hard one; I better say it over and over so I don’t forget!” But even at a young age, the idea that practice makes permanent is built into our bodies.
When we practice something over and over, we will eventually be able to do it without thinking.
This is the beauty and the hardship of training children. We can teach them to obey even as very small children, but it takes a fair amount of effort.
Over and over.
Thankfully, we’re given plenty of opportunities. (even without “Here, let me show you what I expect and let’s think of a fun way to practice” times)
Kids have to eat… over and over.
Brothers and sisters have to play together… over and over.
Toys have to be cleaned up… over and over. (even if it is a few days in between on occasion) = )
Seat belts have to be buckled… over and over. Oh what a happy day in our house when the oldest two could do this without complaining or getting frustrated!
Wants have to be put aside… over and over.
Mommy has an opportunity to practice patience… over and over.
Mommy has an opportunity to model confession… over and over.
We go back to the gospel after being all out of sorts… over and over.
It can be so frustrating when kids slip back into habits or attitudes that we thought had been taken care of. But it’s always worth it to keep talking, keep teaching, keep disciplining, keep modeling… over and over.
The grand and glorious things we’ve been working on this week have been no more than sitting in your chair correctly at the table and obeying with a good attitude. This is not the first week we’ve worked on these things, nor will it be the last.
What have you been working on this week?