Saturday, February 12, 2011

Life lessons at the Playground

We had some errands  to run the other day: grocery shopping, pick up Lilianna's birth certificate, get a one person stroller, a watch, etc.   We have Lily on a schedule so we had to stop at the mall to feed her.  This works out really well because Timo and Si get to play at the in door playground.  B-t-dubs these playgrounds at the malls are crazy!  They are usually wild with kids running a muck.  However the equipment is soft, fun, and easy for 1 year olds and 7 year olds to play on together. Amazing.

A side note about Timothy- he likes to make sure justice is done.  For example if youre doing something wrong he wont hesitate to not only tell you, he will punish you as well. This something we are working on with him because he doesn't realize ITS NOT HIS JOB.

So the boys were sliding on the slides, running through the tunnel, and jumping off the ledges having a grand ol' time when this little toddler started to climb up the slide while Timo was trying to slide down.  We all know this is a playground nono, but I know that I have found myself doing it plenty of times last week....errr when I was a kid.  So Timo brought it upon himself to tell this little girl that she was not supposed to do that.  He looked almost like a 2year old drill sergeant gettin' in her face, waving his finger and sternly giving her the low down.

Needless to say I had to bring him to time out.  He tried to defend himself telling me all about how she was being disobedient and that he had to punish her.  This has happened many times before, we have this conversation alot.  I hope one day he will undertand, accept, and embrace this talk. There is so much we can learn from this:
  •  God is the sovereign creator and he has rules we have to follow.  "If you love me, you WILL obey my commands." John 14:15
  • One of Gods rules we must follow is obeying our parents.  So obeying our parents is also obeying God.  "Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right." Eph 6:1
  • So when Mommy and Pops give rules they must be obeyed or there will be concequences "He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him." Prov 13:24
Now Timo has pretty much gotten those in his head, not that he listens-they dont call them terrible twos for no reason.  But we had to talk about some more that Timo just doesnt grasp yet.
  • Other kids are responsible to their parents, not to Mommy or Pops or Timo; and those parents may have different standards than us.  So we dont yell at other kids we dont know.  "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven." Luke 6:37
  •  If someone else does something to us, we do not defend ourselves, but forgive them and continue to move about our business. "They remembered that God was their rock, that the Most High was their redeemer/defender." Psalm 78:35 "Awake, and rise to my defense! Contend for me, my God and Lord." Psalm 35.23
All that is to say, if I see Timo hit someone else I will run up to Timo and stop whatever is going to come about and discipline Timo.  But if I see someone else hit Timo I will run up to that child and discipline them... NO, of course not!  I will run up to Timo and stop whatever is going to come about.  Then I will make sure that Timo forgives whoever hit him.  I am responsible for the actions of my child whether the bully or the victim.  I also am not responsible for another persons child, unless that parent gives me permission because we are friends.

I like the idea that "it takes a village to raise a child."  Soo...anyone who is reading this has permission to discipline my kids, and I ask that you please DO discipline them, rather then let them get away with things that are not pleasing to God.

I think its funny how God can show us how shallow our own faith is through our kids.  I so often find myself judging others and defending myself-yet I know in my head that God is my defender and he is my judge.  Why is my faith so small?  Please Lord help me to practice what I preach.


  1. I get the part about not defending ourselves in the sense of returning evil for evil. But what if a bully were picking on someone else? Would Timo be justified for fighting the bully to protect the weaker child? How might you as a parent handle something like that?

  2. thanks for this comment, we had some good conversations about it. we are still looking at scriptures and praying about it but feel that we would encourage our kids to stand in the way of the bully and always remember that the Lord is their defender. we will likely post again on this issue soon :) with plenty of scripture of course! feel free to provide us with some!

  3. That WAS Dad ~ LOL! This is some tough stuff! Dad thinks Sean wrote this and I think Em did ~ did you write it together? ~ as in better together since 2005! Happy Valentines Day to the Carroll family! Love you all, MOM

  4. Sean wrote the blog entry and i edited it, lol. the comment was mostly me but sean read over my shoulder :)

  5. These play spaces can be real tough places for life lessons. I struggle with the other parents. I have a hard time when another parent isn't paying mind to their kids and that kid is ruining the fun for others. And then the few kids running crazy that are way over the height bar that have no regard for someone learning to walk and climb. I try to go into the play date times with an open mind. I always remind myself that I parent differently than others and who is to say I am the better of the parents.

    P.S. I love that you guys have a blog! Please keep writing!