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Friday, October 1, 2010

Children Can Be So Exasperating

Try though we do, we can't always prevent our children from annoying us. Sometimes, before they figure out that lying is unacceptable, they will attempt at least once to deceive their parents.

And what about those children who hound us to do things for them when we are so utterly tired that the thought of doing just one more thing seems insurmountable?

This is a blog about two of my grandsons (brothers) who tried both of the situations mentioned above. Here are their stories:

Kaden doesn't usually lie, but he discovered the consequences of lying when he came home from kindergarten day after day telling his parents how he had won the math contest at school each day. What was so believable about him winning these contests was that he truly is exceptional in math. At 5 years old, he already knows, not only how to recognize his numbers, but also how to add and subtract – on paper and in his head.

So hearing he won a math contest was believable. But then one day he came home to tell his parents that he had lost the math contest because of one question. When my son asked him what the question was, Kaden said it was, "What is 100 plus 100?"

Greg said, "I don't think a kindergarten teacher would ask students such a difficult question. What was your answer?"

Kaden said, "200."

Hmmm.  So Greg and Michelle went to the open house at school and asked the teacher about the contest. She told them that she had never held a math contest.

Why did Kaden lie? (The answer made me want to reach across the continent to hug him.) "I just wanted you to be proud of me." Awww.

Greg and Michelle told him that they were already proud of him. And then, of course, they told him never to lie again, but the story was such a sweet one I had to share it.

This next story is about Kaden's brother, Zac. Zac LOVES being outdoors, so no matter how many times throughout the day you take him outside, he wants to return again and again and again and again.

On one particular day, after he had been outside for practically the whole day, he asked his daddy to take him outside again.

"No, Zac, that's enough for today."

Zac insisted over and over and over…

Finally, in exasperation, Greg said, "Zac, if I have to take you outside one more time, I'm going to have to spank your butt."

So Zac walked over to Greg, turned around, bent over, and said, "OK, go ahead. Do it. Spank my butt."

Apparently it was worth a spanking to go outside one more time.

That story reminded me of the time Zac's father, my son, Greg, when he was about Zac's age, had asked me to read him a scary book. I was a little concerned about how he might react to the book or if he would have nightmares, so I asked, "If I read this book to you, will you have nightmares?"

He thought about it for a moment and said, "OK" – like the prerequisite for me reading the book to him was that he had to promise to have a nightmare first.

Love these stories. And the point is that we love our children and grandchildren DESPITE what they do and BECAUSE OF what they do. We lead and teach by example, call them on their lies, and let them know that sometimes enough is enough.

Photo above is of Zac (on left) and Kaden (on right).

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