Not just one toy.... all the toys in the toy box. Yes, Lula Mae has once again lost her toys. This time they were taken away for a different reason. Our sweet little, bible verse reciting, yes sir saying, helping hand Lula Mae has started up with a terribly bad habit. She has become a bit sassy and quite ugly. Not only that, demanding almost. Very, very unlike Lula Mae! When the attitude first started I was shocked and began wracking my brain trying to figure out where she learned such behavior. Then it occurred to me that it was not learned.... it is just in her. It is hard for me to think that my sweet girl is dealing with sin, but she is. It is just her flesh. I have to really remind myself that she needs to be trained right now, not just disciplined. Sure I want her to listen and obey me, but I really want to teach her to listen and obey God. By helping her make better choices every day I am training her heart. I am training her to do what is right, even when no one is around. I am training her that how we treat each other is incredibly important. I am training her to love God and others with all of her heart, even when she doesn't feel like it.
So how is she earning her toys back? Well, being the visual learner that she is I decided to make her a chart. Right outside her door, on her eye level, I put up a behavior chart. Around the chart are little reminders.... talk nicely, clean up, eat what is provided, listen, obey, pray, have Jesus in your heart.... and every time I see her displaying Godly character traits, I reward her with a sticker on her chart. When she earns 7 stickers in a row, she gets to pick one of her toys out of the closet. She has already earned 2 toys back and I am very proud of her. She still has a ways to go, but I am seeing progress. It is so tough seeing Lula Mae go through these lows sometimes, but I know it is normal. The chart helps me to use our praise method (praise 90% of the time and correct 10%) in a very visual way. Lula Mae is really enjoying it. She is very proud of the stickers she has on her chart. She goes up to it constantly during the day and reads all the reminders on it. Hopefully she will earn her toys back at a good steady pace, but I know we will have our good days and bad.
Lula Mae is teaching me so much, and I hope I am doing the same for her. I hope that when I look at the women she becomes I can see godly qualities. Godly qualities that she learned from watching me and through these loving discipline actions. And, as always, I am praying for her to become a godly woman who strives to raise godly children herself someday.