Friday, December 23, 2011

Getting to the Root with Smaller Kids

I love love love Dawn's post from last week. I think it is super helpful to have real life examples. The healing it shows in her daughter is awesome. She has come so far and is doing so well at ID her triggers and sin! It is a testimony to Dawn's consistency. Thought I would share a moment from this last week. My daughter is much younger and isn't processing as clearly as her girlie is. It is similar defenses but my girlie doesn't know herself or her Mommy as well as Dawn's does.


Hubby and I are watching a show and wrapping presents. Not far from the kids room, but all seems quiet. Two hours past RADish's bedtime, she comes out, clearly having not slept yet and addresses Daddy (of course).

"Daddy, I am soooooooo itchy. I am itchy all over."

being a great dad, he hops up and looks at her skin. No rash. No fever. Hmmm, probably faking.

"I don't see anything here, honey, I think you are okay. If you need us, you can come back to us. Try and get some sleep."

She heads back to bed. We exchange the "we know that she is just trying to see all the presents and is a faker" look.

The next morning, I know we need to get to the bottom of the lie the night before.

What was up with you being itchy last night? Where were you itchy?

(changes story 2x in 5 min)

Oh, thank you for letting me know you are lying. Were you really itchy?

I was. I mean maybe. Ok no.

What was the real reason you came out of your room last night?

Well, I knew you and Daddy were doing stuff and eating a snack and watching a show. I wanted to know what movie you were watching.

Huh, you've never been curious about our shows before. What was the real reason you came out of your room last night?

Um, well, Daddy said I can have my snowglobe on. So I was going to ask him to turn it on.

Yeah, but you didn't ask. So that doesn't make sense. What was the real reason you came out of your room last night?

(this goes on and on and on and on and on and on. Depending on the level of commitment she has to her lie, I may give her a variety of disciplines or consequences because lying is never tolerated).

FINALLY, she says:

I knew we were wrapping presents and I wanted to see if any would be for me. Since I have made lots of wrong choices, I thought they were all for (her siblings).

She is then disciplined for lying about itching and we talk through why that is an inappropriate choice. (ie it is totally appropriate for kids to be excited and curious about Christmas gifts. It is however, inappropriate to lie to and manipulate your parents). It is not over until she can not only say what was sin but also repent from it (which could add hours to this). Lots of hugs, affirmation of using words and doing the hard work to move closer to us and the Lord.

There has never been one single time that I walked away thinking, "what a waste of time." It has always been worth it. The times are getting shorter and over and over she sees the fruit of making right choices and choosing to submit to the authority the Lord has placed over her.


So, I guess the take away is at a younger age is that I usually do not acknowledge any nonsense answer or I will tell her I know why it is a lie. Then I just ask the same question over and over. I want to be careful not to give her any answers. I don't want her to say something just because she thinks it is what I want her to say and will get her out of going deeper. I want to keep her attention on dealing with the core issue and help her to identify it herself.

I don't know how much is really getting to her heart. She still seems pretty robotic in her repentance. I can't tenderize her heart. I can only pile the kindling around it and pray the Lord ignites that fire.

Never settle for the walls they put up around their hearts. It might be peace-ful but will not help them heal.


Andy and Kiara said...

This is such confirmation! Thank you. We often stop and help a child walk through the same kind of conversation. There are those in our lives who think it is going too far to help a child identify that they took that extra cookie because they wanted it and thought no one was looking, rather than just saying 'That's not okay' and disciplining. We long for our children to be able to identify the temptation, the sinful response, and what they can do differently next time. (Right now we are working on 'We all have temptations -- God tells us to flee! :) Like you, we are seeing fruit and, thankfully, more comfort with owning up to the true motivation behind the action -- no sugar-coating. Some of it is just dutiful identifying and response, but we are laying a foundation that is important. This post really encouraged me. Thank you, Cate! :)

Acceptance with Joy said...

wow. This is a great post. I try to do this, but it is so difficult because these kids cannot articulate anything well and I feel like I'm on a treadmill... sometimes I second-guess my course of action. Thanks for the encouragement.