Todd and I find it exciting to be a part of not only pointing out to our children what not to do, but to coach them in what to do. Training doesn’t stop with a command to “don’t fuss” or a visit with the rod. Training goes on to instruct the child to say, “May I have a drink, please?” Or perhaps teaching a very young child some sign language could be an option to fussing. It is frustrating to know what not to do and to not have enough insight to know what to do. I have felt this frustration with table manners. I know I am not suppose to reach across the table but, what am I suppose to do?—it is a debilitating feeling.
Training requires a connection in order to be effective. Our daily life is full of spontaneous hugs, love pats, wrestles to the ground, and “just because” kisses. I don’t have planned time set aside every day for each individual child, but I do purpose to connect with them. I look at this as filling their love tanks. Touching is a big part of tank filling, but sometimes it means getting into their world for a few minutes. It’s as easy as becoming a dinosaur, holding a dolly, or galloping through the house like a cowboy out on the range. Even noticing and commenting on how nice of a picture they drew or watching them ride their bikes verifies their preciousness. An especially vulnerable time is when children wake, so I meet mine with a snuggle and let them know I missed them while they slept.