Thursday, October 05, 2006

Pride and Parenting

I have to confess that I struggle with parenting pride. It is truly disgusting, because I know that my children are just on loan to me and that God is truly the only One Who deserves any glory. My most recent battle was yesterday. My two year old is enrolled in Awana this year. She is a year too young for it, but I attend a Bible study for ladies and the child care providers at the study have decided to include the two year olds in the Cubbies program. Each week they are assigned a verse to memorize. If they memorize the verse they receive a sticker and probably a few accolades.

Our memorizing session took place yesterday, the day before she was to recite the verse. That was my first mistake- not working on the verse all week long. Our talk went something like this.

"Ok, Squeaky, we're going to learn a verse!" She sits down beside me on the floor and looks at the paper.
"While we were sinners, Christ died for us. Ok, you say it." Blank stare.
"Ok, this isn't hard. Whii-uuul we were..., say that part." She stutters, "whul weserre..."
"No, Whi-ul we were sinners..." She's lying on the paper.
I say "while...", trying to get her to say the rest of the verse and she just repeats "while". Finally I get her to say, "While...sinners...for us." By this time she's alternately jumping around the room and sliding the paper around like a boat.
The drill sargeant suddenly shows up, "Sit up, let's say the verse! Stop goofing around." She gets up then, and takes off across the room to the haven of her bookshelf.
I sigh, deciding to just sing the verse to a little tune I made up over and over until it is drilled into her little skull... "While we were sinners, Christ died for us... while we were sinners, Christ died for us..."

The meaning of the verse was lost to me as I fretted and fussed over whether or not my two year old would regurgitate the words properly, or if she'd make me look like a terrible parent who can't teach their kid a thing.

Now I feel sheepish, but I have to say that she did finally learn the verse (she woke up from her nap knowing the whole thing) and said it this morning to the Awana lady. I feel guilty for forcing my perfectionist expectations on my little girl and for also ignoring the heart of the issue- that I'm a sinner for whom Christ died!!!


Anonymous said...

This is the technique that I used to teach you verses at that age. Seat Pot Belly and Foxy and you and me in a circle. Have each one say the verse or part of the verse. Of course, I am Pot Belly and Foxy's voice for the first little while, but gradually you helped me out and the "4" of us got the verse learned. That doesn't address the pride issue, but that is something I struggled with all the while in rearing you kids. As I was aware of it, I would have to give it to God. There is really nothing we can claim for our glory. Even our kids can't claim their abilities and brains for themselves. Isn't it special that the Lord entrusts us with the precious little ones that He wants in His family? Mom

Valerie said...

That's a good idea, Mom. Of course, none of her stuffed animals have names yet besides Doggie, Bunny, Bear, etc., but she'd enjoy the learning process a whole lot more that way. Yes, it is a privilege to raise these little ones!!! :)

Anonymous said...

This same "struggle" happens while teaching school. So you're in good training. :)

Sabrina said...

I should try the whole stuffed animal idea with Bronwyn. I can see her now teaching all her little animals the verse ( input sinister mom laugh here!)

She has to learn 10 verses and read 127 chapters of the Bible in the next 4 weeks YIKES!
Talk about your parent pressure!!!