To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common--this is my symphony.
~William Henry Channing

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Claire Story

Well, hello there.
Yes, it has been a while...I was in Atlanta at the always amazing Association of Classical and Christian Schools. It's aimed at the staff of such education establishments but there is a wealth of information that crosses over into family and home life. (Things of a covenant nature are rarely single focused I've found.) This year's keynote speaker was Voddie Bauchman, someone I've heard plenty about but never heard speak before.
The whole event was pretty amazing and I learned a lot that I hope to blog though in the next couple of days...weeks...months...years.
A brief snippet that I will share right now is the concept Matt Whitling shared in the final session about teaching our children to 'look around the corner'. The idea of teaching them to look ahead at the possible consequences of their actions basically. So, because I'm a good person and took all this wealth of information to heart I jumped on the chance to work out the concept with Claire a little earlier today.
Allow me to set the scene for you. Abby has found and added batteries to her portable cd player so that it is actually usable. A fact which thrilled her little soul no end.  A fact that also generated a lot of envy in the heart of her little sister and prompted a slight tug of war between the two that I had to stop. Again, I figured this would be an excellent time to help Claire see the possible consequences that could result from her demanding to have a turn. This is loosely the conversation that followed.
Me: Claire what do you think could have happened if you had continued to insist on getting your own way?
Claire: Get a spanking.
Me: (After a pause because I wasn't expecting that for some reason.) Okay, well yes you could have ended up getting a spanking but what else could have happened?
Claire then just blinks and looks at me with a completely blank expression on her face. What else could possibly happen her clueless blue eyes ask? Seeing her need to have some gaps in her knowledge filled I decided to go with leading questions to walk her through.
Me: Well, how do you think your sister would have felt if you had continued to pull on the ear plug and cord?
Claire: Still looking at me  completely clueless.
I offer more help through a more direct question.
Me: Do you think your sister would have been happy if you kept doing that?
Finally, understanding dawns.
Claire: No, ma'am.
Me: Probably not. She probably would have gotten mad that you were trying to take it away from her. What could have happened if you had kept pulling on the cord?
The blank stare of utter cluelessness but she tries anyway.
Claire: A spanking??
Now, I'm trying to not's like the child rearing equivalent to the Sunday School answer 'Jesus!'
Me: What do you think would have happened to the player if you had kept trying to grab it from Abby and she had kept trying to keep it from you?  Doyouthinkitmaybeitcouldhavegottenbroken? (I finished in a rush because the clueless look was creeping back into her eyes)
Again illumination rises like the noon day sun. We wrapped up the conversation by agreeing that it would be better to wait for a turn to listen on her own than to demand that her sister share and risk said sister possibly being angry or breaking the thing all together.
Not bad but man...there were a couple of pit stops on that ride I wasn't prepared for :-)