I had noticed several things in this child that needed correction. I had turned the issues over and over in my mind, and considered how I might discuss them. I tried to subtly drop hints here and there, although my husband says my hints are about as subtle as cannonballs.
When the time came to have it out, the discussion was well over an hour.
In the parking lot as we were heading into an event.
David took one look at my face, and paraded the troops into the event leaving this child and I in the car to finish what we had started.
Lesson 1: Correction is very rarely ever convenient.
But if you were in the business of convenience, likely you wouldn’t have had kids in the first place. Children are a great many things, but convenient isn’t a word most people would use to describe kids. Never-you-mind. You give a child a great amount of love when you decide to drop everything and show them how important they are to you by taking whatever opportunity you must to lovingly correct them. Miss the meeting. Be late to the event. Forgo whatever it is, but the world stops for your child. Remember, love is spelled T-I-M-E. Time is never better spent than loving your spouse or your child. Make no mistake, correcting is one of the greatest ways you show love.
Lesson 2: The conversation may not always be pretty.
You’re passionate about your child. Their passionate about…whatever it is that they are struggling with. Two passionate people having a discussion can get a little…challenging. But don’t let the fear of their tears, or how you may muck up the conversation, ever stop you from trying. Candor, truth in love, and saying it like you see it are vital to correcting an older child.
Lesson 3: Say I love you a dozen times…and another dozen on top of that.
Talking through situations that are confrontational and sometimes critical can be painful on both sides. But the reason you are bothering to do so in the first place is because you love this child. Lace the entire conversation in love. Let them know that you are correcting, because you care. You care about them, for them, and want the best for them. Children can see through a line of crap. If you are correcting them because their behavior is embarrassing to you, it’s palatable to them…they can taste it in your words. If you are correcting them because you are afraid, they can sense it. But if you are leading and guiding them out of love and devotion, you win. I said a dozen different times yesterday, “Have I ever said anything just to hurt you?” “Have I ever steered you wrong?” “Am I known by you as someone who is untrustworthy?” “Have I ever done anything that in the end did not turn out for your best?” Not that I had to win this child over to my way of thinking, but some of the truths I shared were difficult. And more than a dozen times I said I Love You.
And the minute I stop correcting you, I have stopped caring.
And the minute I stop encouraging you.
And the minute I stop praying for you.
And stop loving on you.
And stop constantly considering how I can help move you toward your dreams.
And I will NEVER STOP. Because I love you…