In the interest of mixing it up here at the end, I thought I would talk about two specific things where I really take my hands off.
They’re completely unrelated.
The first is how very young children treat a new baby. My girls were all very young when the sibling after them was born. Really, they were young enough to not even have jealousy or other what-happened-to-my-mommy issues. That being said, I realize that what I’m about to say will not apply to everybody.
I tried very hard to not be overly careful or stressed about how the toddler treated the new baby. Rough hugs, kisses, squeezes… even the occasional toy being tossed at them enthusiastically were all okay. For some reason, I didn’t want there to be an immediate connection in their mind between “new baby” and “No.”
We said “Shhhh…baby’s sleeping,” “Be gentle,” and yes, “No,” when Hope was pulling two fistful’s of Sophia’s newborn hair.
But for the most part, it was “Hey look, this is your future best friend!”
Next is slightly more serious in my mind and also perhaps a little more unconventional.
There’s no cool way to say it, so I’ll just blurt it out: I let my kids play with my Bible. Even when they’re young and prone to wrinkle, fold, or even tear it, if they want to sit on the floor and page through it, I’m okay with that. Don’t get me wrong, intentional disrespect and dismemberment is duly treated.
But here’s my thought: I don’t want (again) their first connection between them and the Bible to be “No.” I want my kids to love the Bible. I want them to read it for curiosity, for fun, and eventually for nourishment.
So if they pull it off of the shelf or the desk and start to flip through it, I’m not going to take it away.
Are there some Bibles in our house that have paid the price? Absolutely. Two of my Bibles currently have a few pages stuck in the back after having been torn out. But in my mind, it’s a small price to pay to nurture a love for reading God’s Word even at the earliest years.
We talk about how special the Bible is, how wonderful it is to read it, how God has been so kind to reveal Himself to us through it, and how to treat it carefully. But let’s face it, a two-year-old is probably more likely to catch on to “Hey sweetie, I’m so happy you’re reading the Bible,” than “I’m going to take this now and you can have it again when you can turn those flimsy pages perfectly.”
Does it work? Only time will tell; but this is something I’m willing to take a chance on.
Do you have areas of purposeful lenience in your parenting?
(and hopefully this won’t be the last post in the series even though I didn’t finish it before midnight; one more and then we’ll be done!) = )