Camping Fan

Like I always complain, I constantly have to deal with various excrement when it comes to the kids. When we went to PA my youngest boy puked in the car and I pretty much got it all over me and then had to clean it up (thankfully, most of it was thrown up in a Trader Joe's bag---those things are so useful!) and now I have to deal with some new ridiculousness. My daughter wet her bed the other night because she purposely did not put on a night diaper. I had to disinfect the mattress, clean everything up and let the mattress dry overnight. So, my girl got to sleep on the floor in a sleeping bag. Bad idea. She wanted to sleep that way the next night, so we let her. Bad idea. Last night she put on her own diaper (she is four and a half, she should not even be wearing diapers anyway, but you know, my kids have problems) and lo and behold this morning her mattress and sheets were all wet. Her diaper was inside out! I asked her if she knew this and she nodded her head shamefully. She told me she put it on that way on purpose. I said, "What?! Why?!"
Yep, you guessed it. Her reason was so she could wet her bed and she could sleep on the floor again. I could have pulled her hair. She is definitely not sleeping on the floor.


shealyisnottheantichrist said...

I realize that beds are conventional, and that we need to teach our children to respect us and submit their wills to our will. Having said that, I have nieces and nephews that had beautiful beds and they slept on the floor all the time. I don't understand the attraction of the floor; I love a good bed, but if one of my kids really wanted to sleep on the floor, would willingly put on the night dipe correctly and had a respectful attitude toward me, I would let them sleep there. The point of life is not conformity to doing everything the way that we would do it if we were them, but discipling little people to follow Jesus. Just a thought. If it is really important to you that they sleep on beds, I don't have a problem with that. Sometimes silly things like sleeping on the floor are just fun for kids, like taking all of the sofa cushions and making a fort with blankets.

R said...

You are definitely the voice of reason! I am a ninny. I remember when I was a kid and I made forts out of sheets and played in there. I think I may have slept there on occassion, but I can't really remember.
I think one of the main issues with E is that she struggles with being destructive. She is the worst one so far, not meaning to knock her. She writes on everything, tears things up in pieces, and usually these things are valuable things like bills and other important things. It is very frustrating because she loses just about anything she takes anywhere, and she pretty much ruins lots of stuff that she has because she has some sort of attitude that it can be replaced or that it has no value. The problem here with her is not necessarily the wanting to sleep on the floor, it is wetting the bed to get what she wants instead of just asking in the first place for what she wants.
I have learned so much from you and will keep what you say in mind. You are so wise and have raised exceptional children. I hope you have additional advice for a destructive child!

shealyisnottheantichrist said...

I am sorry to be so late to get back to you. I don't really know what to do about a destructive child.

My inexperienced advice would be to decide if she is being irresponsible or disobedient. If you set clear boundaries ahead of time, are sure that she understood them, and she made it clear that she meant to disobey, then I would treat it as disobedience and go from there. If she just has a habit of being irresponsible with other people's things, that is different. Translated: that is more work because it involves training in the area of character which we are all working on for life.

The place to start training a child's character is in the Scriptures. Find a Bible verse that emphasizes the trait that you are trying to instill, and teach her the name of the trait, it's definition and a Bible verse to go with it. Be sure that she has it all memorized by reviewing it systematically. I made it a part of the school day. Patiently remind her of what you have taught her each time that it becomes an issue, but more importantly take time to praise her each time you notice that she treats other peoples' belongings with respect. For some reason, we are all more motivated by the positive reinforcement than by the negative.

Bill Gotthard has some really good character training material, although I do not agree with all of his theology, and at times some of his overzealous disciples have made me want to whack them with a stick. I resisted. He really is worth checking out.

R said...

Thanks for the thoughts and advice! I pretty much go by Ted Tripp (Shepherding a Child's Heart) and he addresses the stuff, but it is good to compare stories of real life experiences (like if one of your kids had that same problem, etc.). I think you are right about addressing the sin as it stands and incorporating it in school, daily life, because the more mindful the child is about it, the more aware that the child is that he/she needs to be saved and needs some help! I wish I had that sort of "added" awareness when I was young.---I mean, knowing "why" things were bad ("the Bible says this..."). She has actually been better the past week or so. I am so thankful. She has the sweetest disposition and I am afraid that next to being messy, this distructiveness is her only big issue she struggles with. I find that if I deal with her gently but firmly she is very receptive.