Learn By Mistakes, or Learn To Make Them?

"Sometimes the best way to convince someone that he is wrong is to let him have his way." –Red O’Donnell
I have learned that having a teenager and ....girls, that arguing often gets nowhere fast. I have also learned, more specifically, that allowing my kids to make choices they might regret helps them learn. Teenagers and....girls in general.... oftentimes like to give lip.They want you to know they can have control and it's useless to argue. For instance, my youngest daughter,aged 7, is
hard-headed and found oftentimes more than not,in a "hissy" over those small minute things most others might find a way of ignoring. Her bed may not be made right if her sister does it, so she throws a fit. But also, she could be in a mood where she doesn't want to make the bed herself. There are times that arguing or sending her to her room until it's made to her liking doesn't do a thing. She's stubborn and will hold out for as long as she can. Letting her cry it out helps some but if she's in a particular mood,she will calm down just long enough to come convince me why she's right, and it could very well start all over. This is where I have learned to let her sleep on a messy, toy-covered bed that night and let her wake up with aches and marks on her face a toy made. I have become surprised when she makes her bed happily that morning after breakfast. So Red definitely has something there, especially pertaining to the discipline of children. They learn their choices might be wrong by letting them go ahead and make them. But do we keep on letting them make the same one, over and over again, not realizing their fault? When is it time to step in and 'say enough is enough,' even for, or especially for, those hard-headed ones?

"Our blunders mostly come from letting our wishes interpret our duties." ~Author Unknown
Our mistakes are often more than not the result of our wishes over-riding our responsibilities. And those responsibilities can reach to something like keeping to a diet or, and---this is my area of many an error----ducking out of what I should be doing (household chores, errands, etc..,) and playing on the computer instead. That being said, I have learned, also as a parent, that letting my older daughter eat something she is slightly allergic to because she wishes to, is better than being strict and saying, "no,no,no" all the time. She often learns her blunder was not worth the while the next morning, experiencing the side-effects of that food. We had just learned of these allergies a couple of months ago. Knowing she was already highly sensitive to food coloring, she was able to easily stop ingesting it without complaint. But when her newer allergies were discovered via a blood test, she was pretty saddened by it. We removed those things from her regular diet, not knowing most of the side-effects yet. But, if there was something at a friends' house she wanted real badly, instead of telling her flat-out 'no' (since it wasn't a deathly allergy), I allowed her to make the choice. I gave her the power to say, 'will it be worth it?' to herself. Sometimes to her, it is. Other times, it certainly is not, and regrets it immensely. Throwing up for several hours is not fun. She now happily refrains from eating that food that causes so much distress. Sometimes, our wishes supersede what we ought to really do. No, she should not eat those foods that give her trouble. It's not good for her, and her body is telling her it's a bad thing. Her responsibility will be to make sure she's healthy, and that those choices she might make based on her wishes alone will get her into trouble. And this lesson can most certainly expand out to other wishes and other choices over responsibility. I certainly hope it does. She is learning very fast about the allergies and is happily making the right choices. It did help that we found a local health store with more options. But all in all, this outlook has made it a much easier to deal with restrictions. Of course,if her allergies were much more severe, such as causing death or serious illnesses, we'd have not gone in that direction. But thank God Almighty they were not and we had room to learn, in not such a hard way.
I suppose I better get to practicing 'what I preach'. So, off I get from the computer to focus on those responsibilites called my children. Ha! :)
Please, feel free to respond! I've love to get feedback! Happy day to you!

Ephesians 5:15-17 "Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is."

1 comment:

NeaCakes said...

very thought provoking and wise words. thanks!