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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Discipline from above

SO in the middle of the fiasco that was yesterday, I was driving the kids to VBS. My mind was wandering, and I wasn't concentrating on my speed as much as I should have been (I was going about 50 in a 40 MPH area). I look up and YIKES, there's a police car in the median just ahead, and no other traffic near me to possibly divert his attention. So I do what every law-abiding citizen would do...I quickly turn on my directional and turn into the Doctor's office parking lot between where I was and where the police car was. I pulled around behind, seeing as how if I parked in front and did not go in, it would be painfully obvious to the cop that I had done that to try to avoid a ticket. I wasn't even sure what was "behind" or if it connected through, but it was away from the potential ticket, so I figured it was worth a shot.
The catch is, I had my kids in the car. They knew we were borderline late, and now we were stopping? Why? Mommy, what are we doing?
Quick, tell the truth or invent a story? Well, I might have compromised my morals already, but I opted for the truth now, and I told them exactly what I did and why. We waited there a few minutes, then pulled out on the side street and continued on our way, with me feeling awful about the example I just set, but good about not having an expensive speeding ticket.
So on went the rest of my "off" day, when I find out later that my son Scott related the story to my friend Julie. He said, "Miss Julie, do you know what my mom was thinking earlier today? Julie, "No, what was she thinking?" Scott, "I don't know but she wasn't paying attention, and we almost got pulled over, etc." Out came the whole story to her, which she laughingly related to me later.
What have I done? And it's entirely my fault. Mea Culpa. I just taught my kids to duck responsibility whenever possible and to avoid blame for transgressions if you can get out of it.
As if that voice in my head isn't clear enough, and I promise I'm not making this up, on the radio as I'm driving with all the kids in the car coming back from the mall, we hear Dennis Rainey start one of his "Real Family Life" minutes. And what is he talking about? Doing wrong while our kids are watching and our responsibility to fess up and make it right. Really. I was like, "Okay God, I hear you!" So I turned off the radio, and asked if they had just heard what Dennis had said. Scott related it back to me, and I said that it was just like me this morning with the police officer. It was wrong of me to try to avoid a ticket if I justly deserved one, and I apologized to them for my example.
WOW, being a parent is hard, but being a parent that displays the morals you want your kids to have is even harder. Many times we can get away with things that we should not get away with, and our kids are watching and filing it all away for future reference. I really have to strive to keep my example pure, even if it means taking some lumps from time to time.
I'm so thankful God loves me enough to want to perfect me, and thankful that He calls me, pleads with me, to know Him more. Even a few year ago, I would not have felt my actions were nearly as wrong as I immediately knew they were yesterday.
until tomorrow,
obm
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1 comment:

Clunn Family said...

Sometimes our spur of the moment parenting choices are so hard and so easily gone wrong, yes? But I love how the Lord worked in you and through you to His ultimate Glory. What a GREAT example you ended up setting! It can be very effective for a child to see a parent make a mistake and then correct it. Sometimes more effective than just always doing it right! It shows them that you too can make mistakes and have the ability to correct them and be forgiven. I love your teachable spirit. It is KEY in the C. walk and oh-so-rare! GOOD for you!
I got pulled over the other day on the way back from (can you believe it?) the Holy Land Experience and spent a lot of time talking to the kids about it. I was irritated on the insidethat he pulled me and 4 young children over in 80 mph traffic on a highway (so dangerous in and of itself) to tell me I MERGED from a MERGE lane without using my blinker but I had to remain true to respecting authority and teach the kids a valuable lesson in it! I didn't after all use my blinker...(115 bucks after online traffic school!)