Then the Tornado, also known as Silas, storms in and ruins the beautiful day in Sodor and on Miller Island as well. Can you see it in his eyes? He's about to strike!
Screams and screeches echo off the walls and my shoulders tense up into my ears!
Ahhh... the pleasant lesson of teaching your children to put one another first.
Our first stab at it has definitely produced some results. Not even near perfection, mind you, but we've got some standards in place and we're headed in the right direction!
I decided to start with Ephesians 4:32a because it shows the pro-active and re-active aspects of sharing. The verse says, "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other..." I used a train on the pictures because it is by far the number one toy that fights are started over in this house.
When a squabble erupts, I first remind both boys that they are to show kindness and compassion to one another. They should NEVER be putting a toy before a person. Doesn't that just put it in perspective?!? It's not about who had it first and who rightly should get to play with it, it's about their heart and the selfishness that is displayed in both of them every time they argue over an object. (Just in case you were wondering how Silas responds to my heartfelt instruction... well, he stares at me blankly, but I'm trying to show Isaac that the standard is not just for him. :)
Then, in cases where Silas storms in and ruins all happiness with his destructive, bull-in-a-China-closet type ways (and occasionally Isaac is guilty of the same), we move on to the forgiveness part of the verse. I'm actually so in love with the end of the verse, that once Isaac mastered the first part, I started throwing the whole thing out there. "Just as in Christ, God forgave you." All offenses pretty much pale in comparison to my offense against the Savior, huh? I may or may not have been convicted roughly a bazillion times while working on this verse with Isaac...
The more I use Scripture in my parenting, the more I am convinced that it is the way to go. Over and over again, I'm convicted as I teach. Over and over again, I'm encouraged that I'm doing the right thing (even when it would be easier to just give the toy back to whoever had it first and not address the heart). Over and over again I see small glimpses that my boys are understanding what they're being taught.
If you'd like to use the printable I created, click here. (I started out just using the first half of the verse, but Isaac caught on well and we're working on the whole thing now. You'll see a reference for 4:32a or 4:32, depending on which you choose to do.)
I think EVERYTHING is easier for a kid (and, honestly, an adult) to learn if it's put to music. I put this verse to the tune of Hey, Diddle Diddle (at least the version that one of our toys plays... I actually never knew the tune until we got it, so maybe Fisher Price just made it up... not sure.) Don't hate on my composing abilities... it works! :)
Here's us singing our lovely duet! Yes, I'm pretty much singing it alone and yes, that's chocolate around his mouth. He's not much for humoring me with video-taking, so I decided to catch him when he was happy and on a sugar-high! (To see it on YouTube, click here.)
To make it work for the whole verse, we do this: (To see it on YouTube, click here.)
You can find our other Scripture memorization posts and printables under "More Ideas."