Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Why Do We Even Ask?

Do you really want my advice?
Are you actually seeking out nuggets of wisdom? Do you really want tools to make a wise choice?
Or do you just want to argue and justify the decision you have already made?

I'm a mom with a lot of kids. So, naturally, people ask me for advice. Mostly about discipline issues.
A few of these people actually want advice.
They want to gather information from a variety of sources and make an informed choice. They don't say "I agree/disagree" and launch into a sermon about why the choice they have already made is superior to mine.

Seriously. If we find that we have a need to justify our choices, then we need to rethink them. If it needs to be justified, most likely, it is unwise.

I justify my rationale that I deserve to have a piece of chocolate. Really? What do I deserve?
Most likely, I deserve discipline, punishment and death. What have I actually done to deserve anything good?

If you say to me "How do you handle 'such and such' a situation? I've been having a hard time with my child in this area.", and I reply "We choose to respond 'this way' because of 'this reason'. It works 'because of this', and takes time and discipline on the part of the parent.", why on earth would you say "Oh, I don't want to do it that way 'because such and such' and we don't want 'whatever it might be'."
You are effectively telling me that you have just wasted my time and breath. That all you wanted to do was justify why you are making an unwise choice on behalf of your child.

Yes, this is a rant. I am not justifying the rant. It needs to be said.

Any time I give child rearing advice that ends with "...and takes time and discipline on the part of the parent.", the parent that I am speaking with tunes out. I can recall approximately three parents that thanked me, and went on to make their own informed choice. The rest say something like "Oh, but *we*..." As though time and discipline are things that these parents have no need to develop or practice.

So, if you don't want to hear sound biblical principle, patience, and discipline, then don't ask. And please don't argue.



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