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From the Heart

One thing to think about with toddlers when correcting or disciplining; they may not understand everything you tell them but eventually it will click. The light bulb will turn on. I would talk to my little ones about Jesus, sharing and obeying from the beginning.

For instance if my child is whining, first of all I would not give them what they are asking for in a whiny voice. I would also tell them that whining is not pleasing to God, that he gave us a nice voice to use when talking (you can go on or that may be enough).

When a child is not sharing, say they grabbed a toy from another child. I would nicely take the toy away from the child and say, "That was not nice. We share." and I'll hand the toy to the other child. There may be crying but that's okay. The child may cry but he will not get the toy back at that time.

Many people will say toddlers don't know how to share so don't expect them to, BUT that doesn't mean we ignore it. I believe that I as a parent should still have the child hear the word share and by me not letting him have the toy after he grabbed it sends a message that we don't just take a toy from another child.

Throwing toys. I see this all the time. A toddler doesn't want the toy or item anymore so they just toss it. I don't let this happen at our house. The child may not be throwing it out of disobedience but still, he needs to learn not to throw things.
 I will have the child pick up the toy and hand it to me as I tell the child we don't throw things. Dad worked hard to buy this for you and we need to take care of it. Other times I'll say that Jesus lets us have nice things, we need to take care of them. If the child doesn't want to pick up the toy I will physically make him (meaning I will walk him to the toy, force his hands to pick it up and give it to me) and give a correction. He wouldn't have gotten a correction but he didn't obey when I asked him to pick up the toy. I'll tell him that he needs to obey mom. When I ask him to do something I expect him to do it. Again, I bring Jesus into our talk.

Things I mention to my children at a young age: Jesus died for us and we need to obey (sounds harsh but it's the truth. Jesus came down as a babe for us and our children need to hear this).  We do things nicely because we are doing it for Jesus. We do our best for the Lord. Oh, you made Jesus so happy by giving that to your brother. When you did that, do you think God was happy?

What I say just depends on what the child did. I know it may sound like I'm a mean mama but I care for my children and everything I say, I say with a loving heart. I'm not yelling any of this to them.

A child may not understand everything now, one day he will and because he has heard it regularly it's already in his heart working. God can work in his life if mama talks about Jesus daily and in ever thing.

So, ask God to show you those teaching moments when you can minister to your child and pray for wisdom on how to handle the offense. God loves you and will walk you through those early years.
I can honestly say now that my children are older it was so worth it to take the time to stop what I was doing and take care of the matter at hand. It wasn't easy. I was tired. I had six babies in 6yrs. so I know how crazy it can get. Having three babies in cloth diapers is a tough stage but we mamas' can get through it if we stick together and encourage one another.

In Him,

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