This is one of those posts that appears to be about one thing, but is really about another. It appears to be about my cute miniature schnauzer with her chic new scarf, but it is really about encouraging moms (and dads) to keep on keeping on with training our children. Yeah, I know, it will be interesting to see how I connect those two, so read on!
Those who know me well, know that I don’t typically adorn my dogs with fancy ribbons and bows, but yet this post has a picture of Cocoa in a scarf. This is how that came to be….
It all started with Jolly getting a haircut AND a cute little orange bow a few months ago.
After Jolly had worn this bow for a couple of days, I overheard AJ (age 5) telling my husband, “I’ve been noticing something. Cocoa is walking around with a sad face, and I think I know why. She wants a bow like Jolly, and she doesn’t have any.” Well, melt my mama’s heart! I thought that was so adorable (not to mention full of empathy!), and I shared it with my sister, who just launched her dog accessory business called Kristen’s Happy Tails. She happily agreed to make a scarf for Cocoa. And, so, Cocoa no longer has to walk around with a sad face!
So what does that have to do with encouraging you Mamas out there? You Mamas (and Dads) out there spend day AFTER day, hour AFTER hour training your children. And, sometimes, that is a wearying job. I feel like I train and teach all day long.
I tell them what to do.
“Say ‘please’ if you want more milk.”
“Be kind to your brother.”
“Pet Jolly nicely.”
“Brush your teeth.”
“Finish your chores.”
“Say ‘thank-you’ for the lollipop.”
“Say ‘excuse me’ when you burp.”
I tell them what NOT to do. (And, yes, these are all things I have said/dealt with.)
“Don’t hit your brother.”
“Don’t put barbeque sauce in marker caps.”
“Don’t smear toothpaste on the bathroom sink, toilet, door, floor, windowsill or anything other surface!”
“Don’t put a clothespin in Cocoa’s beard.”
“Stop picking your nose.”
“Don’t pee in the tub.”
“Don’t put dominoes in your underwear!”
“Don’t put dominoes in your brother’s underwear!”
“Don’t draw on the van windows with crayons.”
“Don’t pick up dead ducks on the road.”
“Don’t cut your pants with a scissors.”
“Don’t cut your hair with a scissors.”
“Don’t cut your brother’s hair with a scissors.”
“Don’t put your sister in the dog crate.”
“Don’t pee out the back door.”
“Don’t pee out the front door (especially when we have guests!)”
“Don’t eat goat food.”
“Don’t eat cat food.”
“Don’t eat dog food.”
We parents say these things day after day, wondering if they are sinking into to the little hearts we are instructing. And, then, a wonderful moment happens – like me hearing AJ have empathy for Cocoa who didn’t have a bow like Jolly – and we realize, that, yes, indeed some of our teaching is taking root! (Now, if we can just transfer that empathy to AJ’s brothers….) So, take heart, parents, your teaching is being heard, and we are told that if we “train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6).
Vanessa from Russell Homestead. Follower of the Lord Jesus, wife of my knight in shining armor, mother of 5 wonderful children, and joint-keeper of the Russell homestead. Thanks for stopping by!
Independent Field Representative