Set an example...a phrase that as parents and/or teachers we have probably heard and even spoken more than once. This week's blog post from Mimi focuses on doing the right thing. Why? Because little eyes are always watching and our ACTIONS SPEAK VOLUMES! Enjoy and share!
Grocery Cart Etiquette
When shopping today, I came very close to hitting a buggy that had been haphazardly left across two parking places at the grocery store. I was a little irritated that “whomever” it was did not return their buggy to its correct location because I always return buggies to the correct bin in a parking lot – well almost always. ;-)
Seriously, I really do try to return my grocery carts, and library books, and … well, you get the point. It may seem a small thing in the scheme of life to endeavor to see that buggies aren’t left loose in parking lots, but still a lesson can be learned here about rules and discipline.
Recently my oldest daughter asked me why I had not written something about discipline in one of my weekly Monday Moments with Mimi, and I had to hold back an LOL. I am the loved and loving Mimi of 5 precious grandchildren – who finds herself bending 90% of the rules along with my grandchildren 90% of the time, but only for the sake of learning, laughter and love. Isn’t there a difference in bending rules and breaking them? Ah, the joys of being a Mimi!
Through years of my children and grandchildren grocery shopping with me, I don’t know if I have ever even told them a “rule” about buggy etiquette. But they have always seen a “practice” of returning buggies to their proper bin demonstrated for them. In essence, I have been modeling the idea that true character is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.
Now to apply this small illustration to my thoughts on rules and discipline...
Certainly there are places for rules, laws, and even Commandments with strict observance and severe consequences!!! But for now, I am focusing on discipline and training on a smaller scale. What if, from the start, we represented a model of expected behavior for our children to follow; it is just that simple.
With us consistently interacting with our children, we have opportunities to also consistently regulate their behavior. Repetition, consistency, and modeling...3 factors which we as adults cannot underestimate. Repeat, repeat, and repeat again an explanation when needed, and be consistent, consistent, and more consistent with desired actions--your actions modeled in front of them.
Discipline to me, is not so much about establishing “the rules” and then doling out punishments or rewards. It is, rather, respectfully and consistently regulating one’s behavior, for the good of those watching, and in turn, teaching our children to do the same for others. Daily Discipleship...those aren’t new words...
So yes, I will take the buggy back to its place every time and tell my children why; “Becuase if you don’t, a blonde lady on the loose, frantic and in a hurry, might come into the parking lot, hit the out of place buggy, make it roll into your car, and wouldn’t that be the ruin of an otherwise lovely day?!” Blessings, Anne (Mimi)