Friday, February 12, 2010

When Kids Listen in Church

Two Sundays ago, John gave a talk in church about consequences, accountability, and choices. Of course, I paid rapt attention, except for when the twins were trying to climb up under my skirt, because I love John, and he is my husband and he is hot, especially when he wears his reading glasses and gets all spiritual...

One of the things he mentioned, which I thought was of utmost importance, was that when we become angry in response to a stimuli, it is a choice. It is a reaction we choose, when we could just as well choose another way. It was an excellent talk, and I'm sure many other members of the congregation paid attention and were inspired by it as well. One thing about church however, at least sacrament meeting, in which, in a Mormon church, the entire family is in attendance, is that most of the talks are geared towards the adults in the congregation. During the second and third hours of church, the children and teenagers receive individualized instruction according to their ages and genders, but sacrament meeting can be, shall we say, a challenging time for the young people.

Moving forward two weeks...

The 13-year-old boy...

(Yes, he often has this crazed look on this face when being photographed.)

...had initiated a conversation with me about how I should let him off restriction for a few hours because he had been on restriction for so long, due to events we shall not discuss here. He kept nagging and nagging and arguing and arguing so incessantly about the merits of allowing him to play his John Madden football game, that I finally said, "13-year-old boy, you need to stop nagging me. You are really starting to make me angry."

His response..."Mom, anger is a choice. You don't have to get angry. You are choosing to get angry."

With that, I couldn't help but break into a huge smile, and said, "So you actually listened in church to Daddy John's talk on Sunday, huh?"

"Of course I did," he replied, with an equally huge smile on his face.

The 13-year-old boy reminded of a valuable lesson that day about choices and how we can choose our response when it comes to unpleasant circumstances. Thanks, 13-year-old boy. :)

I still didn't let him play John Madden, though. Thanks for listening.


The Farmer's Wife said...

That is soo funny...and I totally hate it when they do that! Use your own instruction against you! How are you holding up???? I think of you everyday! Please let me know when the big moment arrives;)

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Hey FW, I'm still hanging on! Not feeling too horrible yet, except for the fact that my stomach is so heavy, I can't keep my thighs awake! I will definitely call you when Daniel is ready to come!

Lisa said...

That's really cool that he did listen, most teens are usually lose focus halfway through. Funny he used it on you:)

It sounds like it was a very good talk and one we should try to keep in mind.

Leslie said...

That made me chuckle! My 11 year old constantly bugs me about playing that John Madden game, too. Anyway, I love that your son listened to the talk.

Shelley said...

Hahaha! Good for him! I probably would have caved at that point!

alessandra said...

Since I prefer to go counter current, I liked this sentence most, it made me smile....because I love John, and he is my husband and he is hot, especially when he wears his reading glasses and gets all spiritual...

Albert said...

Sound like wisdom! I miss you but have enjoyed hanging with your Mom on the weekend :) Call me I would love to talk to you, I need some help too, Mary has my # Kara

Jessica said...

I am going to forward this post on to my husband...I've tried so hard to share that message. Maybe coming from another source will help.
Can't wait for pictures of the newest baby.

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Well, Jessica, I hope it helps! Also, the new baby isn't here yet, although my mother thought he was because of the fact that my header now says "Mom of 10". She asked if I had had the baby and just didn't tell her. I told her that at this point, if something happened to him, I would still consider him my tenth child, so I might as well change my header! He's due in about 2 or 3 weeks, so wish me luck!

Anonymous said...

so cool! i was wondering if you let him have it lol

thorney said...

I must say you are much stronger than I am. I would have caved at that point and let him play as a reward for listening in church.

How are you beginning to feel with the time for Daniel's arrival growing near?

Do you have a P.O. Box in the states or Mexico to mail you something?


Anonymous said...

A good point about choosing one's reaction to a situation; need to remind myself of that more often. it's not fun when kids remind us of things we tell them .... My daughter who is 9 tried to run away yesterday and said it was because we always made her feel guilty about things...I need to remember to choose my reactions to her more carefully from now on.

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

lyon23, I read about your daughter yesterday on MckMama's forum. I am so sorry. It is hard to know what to do in a situation like that. I hope things work out.

GapGirl said...

LOL. Thats hysterical!

Mike and Katie said...

On more than one occasion our children have turned out words back on us. They are listening and pull out these little bits and pieces when they think it may help their cause.

The next time they pull out these bits and pieces will be when they are raising their own teenagers!

Cheryl B. said...

Hi Jen :->

First off (least I forget :-/), how is the 'practing' going? Remember - o/~ you ARE a champion, my friend ....o/~

Secondly, I too, like Alessandra, was going to say something about your comment of John looking 'hot' when he's wearing his reading glasses and gets all spiritural.
Was he that way the night before you 'served him cake in bed'? wink, wink o;-p

[Thirdly] - SO-O-O-O much about us actually boils down to choices. Our atitudes. Our perspectives. Our anger, or lack thereof. Our loving nature, or lack there of. Our being able to laugh at ourselves and life. And the [kind of dauting] list goes on.

Yes, at times it can seem dauting. On the other hand, the fact that we can/ do have the option of changing so many things about ourselves, can be very reassuring as well.

[Fourthly] - Sometimes when our kids 'attempt to set us straight' by quoting things we have attemtped to teach them (and often wonder if anything actually sunk in),it just makes you want to do a tearry eyed happy dance!!! I LOVE the encouragement mixed with blessing God grants us through such situations.

Yes, sometimes, depending on the overall situation, having your kids 'throw your own lines back at you' can be frustrating. But you then have the choice to focus on the frustration, or on the encoraging blessing part. o/~ So put on a happy face ... o/~

And fifthly, I'd like to share a story that came to mind while I was reading this posting. Thank-you for not minding ;->

As I've shared, all of my sons have been fully tested, and thus diagnosed as having varying levels of ADD / ADHD (amongst other things). Thus, sitting absoluetly still and quiet has a-l-w-a-y-s proven challenging for them. Does not mean that I didn't make them do it (they were tested and diagnosed so that we knew where they were at and thus could help them better), just means that the challenge didn't lessen with age.

I was brought up that you sat [perfectly] still and remained completly quiet in church - PERIOD!!! !!! !!! !!!

It took me a long time, I'm sure due to how contradictory it was to my own upbringing, to accept the fact that if my sons WERE allowed to doodle, pass notes (with each other), etc. during the service, they actually then got somethng out of the service. [yes, even when they were in their late teens]. However, if I completly removed all writing materials from them, etc. they usually got zip out of the service.

Why? Because they would then exit into their own little worlds inside their minds and totally 'zone out', while being able to not show it on the outside.

One time an elderly lady in our church came up to me rather appalud that she had witnessed my boys exchanging notes continually during the service. "You were taught better than that!" I agreed with her, and then explained them to her. I also told her to feel free to question them herself about the sermon.

At the time, I said nothing about this to "the boys". But the following Sunday they came home questioning why Mrs. so and so had started drilling them [individually] about the sermon. I asked what she had asked them and (with a bit of fear) what they had told her. "she asked me all of these questions about what all Pastor had been talking about and I answered her questions. Don't worry mom, I was polite, I kept my other thoughts inside my head. When she decided we were all done, she said that she thought I had gotten more out of the sermon than she had". [Whew!]

Before service the next Sunday she had sought me out and with a giggle showed me her notebook. "I only plan on taking notes, but who knows, I just might write George [her husband] a note too o;-p". She was in her late 70's at that point. ;->

* * * *
Jen, seeings how I do not keep records of what stories I share with you, I hope you will overlook it if I should repeat one at any point.