Much like his Mama, two of the strongest aspects of my R's personality are his passion and his verbal skills. I learned a long time ago that every strength overdone becomes a weakness. So much of growing up involves learning to manage our gifts.
I also learned with this particular little person that trying to talk things out in the heat of the moment tends to escalate the situation. A few months ago sentence writing became my disciplinary choice for his disrespectful outbursts. I usually write the Bible verses and/or sentences for him to copy...reminders not just of behavior modifications, but of his identity and God's ability. This afternoon I tasked him with writing his own sentences.
The result is perhaps the greatest glimpse into the developing theology of a 9 year old boy I could expect to get. (I have translated below the photo.)
- I will not argue.
- I won't talk back.
- I love God and he loves me back.
- I must not yell.
- I must not argue.
- Follow your parents.
- Follow your dreams if they lead to good deeds.
- Say things that are good not bad.
- You are a good kid.
- Your parents know what's right.
- I am a child of God.
- Follow God things instead of Satan.
- You are loved.
- You have a good life, don't make it bad.
- Use your self control when you need it.
- You have a plan to follow God.
- God has a plan for you.
- I am a God follower.
- God is my Father.
- You are never alone God is with you.
- God is watching.
- You can do anything through God.
- God must be my master.
- I am a son of God.
- God has big plans for me. (and the final one he added as a bonus... ;-)
- God has a plan. His plan shall not perish or you will not go to a happy life.
The beauty of godly, heart focused discipline is that I felt closer to my son after this experience than I would have had I chosen to simply ignore his behavior. And I was blessed by the reminder that the Lord is actively working in our hearts and lives!