We have been doing some rearranging in our dinning room in order to make it more guest friendly. When you have 10 people that regularly gather around your table you need to get creative for even a small family join you.
Last night as we sat for dinner and were preparing to thank the Lord for our food, PC blurted “How did that light move!?” He noticed that the light was no longer over the center of the dining room table and was now over Beautiful’s chair. He was enthralled with the idea that the light could move without him knowing it. We all had a good time with that knowing that the light didn’t move, but the table had.
This funny little occurrence served as a good reminder for me that while our age and past experience usually gives us a more full bodied perspective, there are two important points to remember.
- That isn’t always true. Sometimes our experience causes us to jump to a conclusion that isn’t correct.
- Just because we see something (and it might be true), it might not be true for the kids.
We all have experience with number 1. The important consideration when helping disciple them is that we need to slow ourselves down and make sure we have all of the facts before we charge off with a “solution.” I know I have committed this mistake more than once and I pray that I remember to take my own advice so it doesn’t happen anymore.
Number 2 is a bit more tricky. We may be absolutely right as rain about something, but the child may not see it the same way. This is where we need to really slow down and help bring them along. All of the “solutions” you provide will be completely lost on the child because they are not on the same page.
Going back to PCs shifting world for an example, if I had tried to maintain that the light didn’t move, it would have turned into a debate. He could see plainly that the light was now over his mother and not the center of the table. In order to help him wrap his mind around it, we needed to show him that the table moved. At that point, the rest was taken care of automatically. He was a little disappointed that it wasn’t quite so spectacular, but he was thrilled that his mother now had more light, like an angel.
The real lesson here is that when you disciple your children, make sure you understand their perspective before you fix the wrong problem and create frustration for both of you. Take the time to understand what they were thinking before you model and correct their behavior. You will find that showing them that table moved is whole lot easier than convincing them the light did not.