What to Do When Your Children
By Nikki Willhite
It's dinner time. The food is hot and on the table, and you are
just waiting for your 10-year old to bring over the milk from the refrigerator.
He opens the refrigerator door, takes out the milk, and then before he can even
close the door, he drops the milk and it spills all over the kitchen floor.
He looks at you. His reactions are mixed. At first he may be
surprised, then frightened of how you may react, and then, in self defense, a
You are hungry. Your family is waiting for dinner, and now, in
addition to your frustration over wasted money, you have a mess to clean up. How
do you react?
Do you start yelling at your child- telling them how careless
they are, and how they have wasted money?
Do you threaten to take the cost of the milk out of their
allowance- no matter how long it takes?
If they've done this before, do you remind them of it?
This is an occasion when you better step back and look at the
What is more important- some spilled milk, or your child's
Except for some rare children that have a behavior
disorder that needs medical attention, accidents happen to everyone. This is a golden
opportunity for you to r to you child that he is more important than some
Be prepared to hold your frustration in advance. Be ready with a
comforting "It's ok, honey, accidents happen to everyone".
There might even be an occasion when your child wants to "test"
your reaction. He might even do it on purpose. If you suspect this to be the
case, you might want to think about where he is getting his insecurity.
They say "If you get a lemon, make lemonade". Make spilled milk
an opportunity to show your unconditional love for your child!
A Great Story
One other thing to remember- children learn by example. Be sure
to treat other children in the same positive way that you treat your own child.
I heard a story many years ago that I have always remembered. It is a wonderful
example of being sensitive to the feelings of children. I will relate it the
best I can.
The story was told by a woman who had been sitting on a bench at
a county fair. She was observing the people passing by her. She took notice of a
young teenage girl who looked to be attending the fair with her boyfriend.
The girl was all dressed up in a pretty dress that she had
obviously just sewn. She could tell it was hand sewn from the "fold" that went
down the front of her dress (which you often get when you cut the dress out with
the front on the fold of the fabric).
The young girl was obviously having a good time,walking along
and smiling with her young man. A little boy was a short distance away. He had
just bought an ice cream cone, and turn and ran excitedly back towards his
parents. In his haste, he ran straight into the young woman, spilling and
"smashing" the ice cream all over this young woman's dress.
How do you think she reacted? How would you react? Well, this
young lady was well trained. Without any concern for herself, she looked down at
the disappointed and somewhat frightened little boy, and turning to link her arm
with the young man beside her, said to the young boy, (referring to her
boyfriend), - "Don't worry- he'll buy you another one!"
Not only was she sensitive to the feelings of this little boy,
who had just lost his "precious" ice cream cone, but she gave her boyfriend the
opportunity to "shine"- not only in her eyes, but in the eyes of the small
Teach your Children...they are your Legacy.
The dress may have been soiled, but that dress is long gone;
wonderful example of selflessness is not forgotten.