Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Heart Of The Matter

We have been working a lot more lately on bringing the child to realize their heart behind their actions when disobedient.

But I started thinking, that might be difficult when we focus so much on the ACT rather than the heart.

I get irritated because I am trying to finish up something I am doing and get angry with one of the children because they interrupted me. But their heart was one of sharing. Or I get frustrated with them because in cleaning up the spilled milk on the floor, they leave the wet rag on the wooden floor. When their heart was one of being helpful, and they just forgot to put it away in their excitement.

So I want to start focusing on the heart when they are obedient too. And in praising them, praise the heart behind the matter.

I appreciate your kindness in wanting to share that with mommy, but remember to be patient and not interrupt mommy.

Thank you for your hard work in cleaning up the floor, now remember to be diligent and put the rag where it belongs when you are done. Thanks for being such a hard worker!

I think this will also help develop character in the children. I think it is easy to become prideful when all you are praised for is your work and not the heart behind the work.


Deb Burton said...

Teaching character to our children can be so complex. I think that training needs to focus on both intent and action, but you're right, I think most tend to focus on just the action. I know I do. All that matters is whether the child "gets the job done". I need to be just as quick in recognizing the heart as I am responding to the action. Good post!

Cindy said...

We've been trying to focus more on this now for at least a couple of years, maybe three. It just never dawned on us before, ya know? We rarely spank now. Usually just a good old "heart-to-heart" reveals so much and takes care of the problem. Sometimes it takes several talks and lots of prayer, but I definitely prefer it over spanking and nagging! Of course, I'm not referring to leaving dirty clothes on the floor or something like that (that just takes lots of reminding), I'm referring to the bigger things like lying, which rarely happens around here, and we don't spank for it anymore!