Thursday, March 3, 2011

Creative Criminals

I am a bit frustrated right now. Last night was a shocker for me. I'll spare everyone the details but one of my boys did something horrible to his brother. The word "horrible" could be interpreted in many different ways. Weird, strange, mean, disgusting, disturbing, etc. Anyway, the event left me and my husband on our knees. Even now I'm still asking myself, "Is this a foreshadowing of coming things?", "Have I done something entirely wrong in my parenting?", "Why do our kids fail to show love for one another?", and "Is my child a freak of nature?".

Talking it over afterward with my husband we knew that Guilty just didn't think things through before he acted. He's not a freak of nature. He's just a kid who fails to think about what will happen after. What kid does? But aren't there limits? I would think that there would be some things that wouldn't even enter our kids minds. Well, I guess there aren't limits. I guess children think they can do anything. They are curious. They are imaginative. They are creative, even in their crimes.

So, I'm completely at a loss on how to guide my children in a direction that will lead to more appropriate forms of expression. We came up with a few ideas.

It's been at least a week since I've written the above. We've been emphasizing "service" in our household big time. The boys are encouraged to serve each other breakfast. We expect Atticus and Sherman to do it, but Cinci of course sits back and enjoys the service rendered without even thinking of doing his part. At least Hector exists! For the sole purpose of teaching Cinci that he is not the next Prince and heir to the thrones of the world, I'm glad we have a yet younger child that will eventually put him in his place.

Our family home evening's theme was, of course, Service. I'm so grateful I've had a bunch of kids because now when we draw names out of a hat, there's actually mystery and excitement about whose name you get. The kids are old enough to not immediately divulge the name they draw and we can actually enjoy secretly serving someone else. It's really hard to get kids into a mindset of service. However, I do have one child who is going above and beyond what I expected. He will be receiving the "Service Award" next week for his excellent performance. He's subjected himself quietly to the meanness and mistreatment of his brothers every day since we started this service thing. I hope that everyone in my family will get a wake up call when they see him receive this "award". I'm not sure what to make the award be. Any ideas?

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