A Child Left to Himself

  Today while I was correcting Liz's science and getting caught up with her log, she was sweeping the dining room floor.  I verbally went over some mistakes she had made and asked her why she hadn't done one of the essay pages. 
  She commented that she had done her school for the day and I should let her alone.  I gave my usual answer to that comment.  "A child left alone bringeth his mother to shame."  At that point, she said something that I didn't hear because the radio was on, and stomped off.  She came back with her Bible. 
  "Where is it?" she demanded.  I said I knew it was in Proverbs, but I didn't know the exact reference.  (I'm bad at addresses.)  "Well, you take it to extremes", she said.  "You're at it 24/7".  I explained to her (again) that this is my job. 
  After that, I went to my Strong's Concordance.  The whole verse, found in Proverbs 29:15, states:  The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.   I read it to her and she had nothing more to say.
  Actually, I am not with her 24/7, as she said, but I can see why she feels that way.  In fact, I was just gone yesterday afternoon.  While I was, she went with her dad and sister, Rebekah, to get a Christmas tree.  Before I got home, they had not only decorated the tree, but the rest of the house, and she was doing dishes.
The day before that, she had gone ice skating with her brother, his friend, and girlfriend.
  Here's the thing.  When I am not with my kids, my influence still is.  Why?  Because I spend so much time with them.  So, they can't really get away from me, try as they may.
  We live in a "drop off" mentality culture.  When my son, Andrew, had reading therapy because I couldn't teach him how to read, I surpised the teacher by staying for his lessons.  Only after he was well established did I take that time to get some exercise, by walking.
  When my kids took instrument lessons at SU, I surprised their teachers by staying for the first lesson.  It is, after all, ultimately my responsibility even when I hand them over to someone else to accomplish something that I am unqualified to do myself.
  I have discovered that kids "not left to themselves" are secure kids.  I've never been able to understand why a child who goes to school five days a week is afraid to go away for a week of church camp, or why some are even afraid to sleep over at a friend or relative's house. 
  My kids are very happy about opportunities to get away from me.  They would go to church camp for two weeks if they could, and they love visits to older siblings' homes.
  As teens, they may not appreciate my "hovering", but I guarantee they'll be "rooted and grounded" in the values that I cherish.  I've already seen that in my grown children.


Popular Posts