This past weekend my three oldest children, ages 9 through 6, asked if they could go to a neighbor’s house to play since it was clear they where having a Memorial Day party. It was already late afternoon (4:45) and I didn’t want the children bothering the neighbors by wearing out their welcome, so I told them to be back in half-hour.
I didn’t stress verbally the importance of getting back on time, but I did make sure they took a watch with them so that they could keep track of the time.
At 5:13, all three children came walking through the door and to be honest, I was surprised. All three of our older children are very social and given that the party also included a trampoline, I anticipated having to walk down the block to bring them home.
As they took there shoes off, I called all three over and had a very short conversation with them, “Karis, Isaiah, and Gloria, thank you for coming home on time. I want you to know that, by coming home a few minutes early instead of a few minutes late, you have earned my trust.” There were a few more words, but that was the gist of the conversation.
I thought nothing more of it until I heard Isaiah reading a passage to someone out of his journal:
About 5 min. later, it was time to go. dad had told us to be back at 5:15, but we arrived at 5:13. When we were upstairs, dad told us to come. he told us we had earned his trust. he told us that he would trust us when we were asigned a direct time. I was real glad to hear that.
I was real glad to hear that? Who would have ever thought that the way we use our words could make our children real glad? We want to be encouraging, we’re often discouraging, but I thank God for small pictures into the mind of children which help me know how to raise them better.
Above: Isaiah (8) with his journal. He’s a good writer already and I also hope to encourage him in this area.