Linda Wood Rondeau

Snark & Sensibility

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE TROUBLE
8/17/2016 12:00:01 AM by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

 

 

How can I teach my children to drive when I can’t even
parallel park?

 


How then do we weak and feeble-minded grownups teach responsibility to impetuous youngsters?


Melissa, the mother of three highly spirited and independent preschoolers, has learned the value of avoiding open-ended questions. Instead of, “What do you want for breakfast,” she asks, “Do you want pancakes or French toast?”


The open-ended question, “What do you want for breakfast?” may be honestly answered with, “Chocolate cake!” The child fully expects to see the frosted delight delivered at his command.


“No! You can’t have chocolate cake. That’s not a breakfast food!”


“But I want it.”


“I said no!”

The screech that erupts now turns breakfast into a Maalox Moment. If there are multiple children, bedlam follows, for now they all want the chocolate cake. They are either sent to their rooms, or more is the pity—they are served the chocolate cake.


By giving children carefully guided choices, the parent is assured of a positive outcome. We limit our children’s choices because we love them. We understand their bent for chocolate, and the harm too much chocolate will inflict.


We do all we can to nurture good decision-making skills in our children, yet as adults, we fail to heed the warnings that are blatantly in front of us. We see the sign. Thin ice. Yet, we keep on walking, and wonder why we find ourselves submerged in frigid waters.


When Nehemiah, commissioned in the rebuilding of Jerusalem, studied the law and the rebellious history of his people, he marveled at God’s compassion. “In all that has happened to us, you have been just; you have acted faithfully, while we did wrong” (Nehemiah 9:33). God had limited Israel’s choices because of her bent toward self-destruction—not out of vengeance, but from His great love.


The Bible tells us that our hearts are naturally deceitful, and our own wills will lead us astray. Is there hope? Yes, there is great hope for the believer. The Father reveals the best of all alternatives, and those who trust in God will prosper (Psalm 1).

 

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?
(Jeremiah 17:9)

 

 

 

 

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