March 16, 2012
Last week was a week of unburdening for our son. We carefully monitor what he watches because we have had some problems with his behavior after watching certain types of videos. On Sundays the whole family lays down for a rest after lunch. He has been allowed to ‘rest’ while watching a video as long as he is quiet and either Daddy or Mommy is in the room.
Recently, we have had trouble with him watching videos he knows he is not allowed to watch. And when Grandma babysits so that Mommy and Daddy can get some alone time he stretches the limits. His computer privileges have been revoked for a period of time with each violation of the rules. A few weeks ago he was caught watching a video that was not approved yet so his privilege was revoked for an entire week. Another time he bought instant watch videos from Amazon without permission. (I should note here that we purchased an entire season of Davey and Goliath from Amazon’s Instant Watch for him to watch – and he was watching that when he saw a link for Curious George and clicked on it.) Again, his privileges were revoked for a week.
On the eve of getting his privilege back he came to me and asked if I wanted to know the truth. Of course I said yes. “I don’t know if I can tell you this” he said. “Why not?” I wanted to know. “Because you might be angry” was his response. Now my children have seen me angry and it is not a pretty sight so I could fully understand why he didn’t want to speak up. I wanted to stop here and re-emphasize a point we tried to get our children to understand a while ago so I looked him in the eye and said “You can never get in trouble for telling Mommy and Daddy the truth. You may have to live with the consequences but you can never get in trouble.” Now I know trouble and consequences sound like the same thing, especially to a five year old, but they are not.
I could see he was burdened by something and wanted to come clean so I just stood there waiting. He then confessed to watching videos we did not already know about. I thanked him for telling me and then prayed with him and asked God to help him be strong in this area of weakness.
I guess he was relieved so much by this confession that he was prompted to make another two days later. Again I thanked him and prayed with him but this time I had to deliver a consequence. Since most of the violations occurred while he was ‘resting’ on Sundays we removed Sunday video watching. He know has to actually rest like everyone else. And if you know my son you know that actually laying down for a rest is far worse than just about anything else, including spankings. In fact, he begged to be spanked instead. When we refused he wanted to know why. “Because a spanking is a temporary pain and sometimes our disobedience has long term consequences. This is one of those times.”
He felt better. I was happy to see that he was convicted of his wrongdoing and desired to make it right.
“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.” – James 5:16