Why are people sneaky? Is it just by nature? Okay, I know the biblical answer, but as a parent that doesn't make me any happier when my kids are being "sneaky". I try to remember to extend all of my children grace and reinforce that lesson by reminding them that God extends grace to each of us, but I also have to raise responsible adults.
My hope for each of my children is that they will be saved by the blood of Christ and lead responsible lives as adults that bear the fruit of their beliefs. I know we are going to continue to go through valleys before the mountain tops in order for God to strengthen all of us for the path that He has planned, but some days I really want a break. Some days the most basic thing I want is for no one to lie to me and no one to be sneaky.
To that end we have recently (last week) started a new consequence for lying or being sneaky. Each time one of the children is caught doing either (or more likely both) of the aforementioned misdeeds they will lose TWO favorite things from their room. A good day without (overt/obvious) lies or sneaking around will earn ONE thing back, thus taking two days just to get back to where you started from originally.
I thought this would be too much, but they have all caught on. So far, HoneyBunny and LoveBug have experienced the loss of items, but only LoveBug has started earning anything back since HoneyBunny just lost his first two things today. Just this morning I was thinking to myself that this new plan is really working and LoveBug may be turning a corner, but then I looked over the stairs to watch both of them do the opposite of what I had asked and when I called their names they ran to where they were supposed to have been. What is disheartening is that the actual offense of not obeying had a rather understandable explanation (they were examining a bug), but the important issue is that they did not think I was watching and then ran away being sneaky and pretended to have been doing what I had asked all along.
This type of behavior will not lead them into being responsible adults. The world is full of people who run away, who lie and who are sneaky. I want more for my children. I want honesty and strength of character for each of them. They will be better friends, better husbands and better fathers one day because of it. So for now, I will continue to do the hard work and leave my hope in the future that God has planned and the mountain top views He will send my way one day.
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