27 June 2011

Time for a Change

I've had many a neighbor come into my yard chasing a dog and scolding that dog up and down for its poor behavior.

It's always been a little embarrassing.  Here's someone I relate to as a lovely neighbor and yet harsh, assailing, reviling words are pouring forth from her mouth.  I, an onlooker, want to hide and pretend I didn't witness.

For some reason we think harsh scoldings are okay when directed at a dog.  Yet I'd be (actually have been, to tell the truth) quite embarrassed when I realize someone witnessed me scolding one of my children in that manner.

I've recently read some words that have clarified the subject for me:
Scolding is never in order.  

Those are the words.

To expand a bit:

Most parents, even the gentler and kindlier parents, scold their children more or less.  Rarely a child  can say, "My parents never scold me."  Many a child is well trained in spite of his being scolded.  Many a parent is a good parent notwithstanding the fact that he scolds his children.  But no child is ever helped or benefited by any scolding that he receives; and no parent ever helps or benefits his child by means of scolding.  Scolding is not always ruinous, but it is always out of place.

All right.  If it doesn't benefit them and it's not at all making me a prettier person, then why do it?

Yes, words of correction are important.  But scolding?  I've witnessed many times those little frames tense up as they brace themselves against my harsh teaching on what they've done wrong.  I'm thinking the author has a good point.  I can't think of a time it really helped the situation out except by me relieving my frustration.

Unfortunately it's easier to plan to change than to actually change.  So I'm clinging.  To the Word of Truth...."Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."  

In His power, I can change.  I can be free from old patterns and ways of behaving and coping.  It's hard work to change.  But it's not without the promise of victory.  I've got Ultimate Power on my side, dwelling in me.

It can be done.

excerpt from Hints on Child Training, Trumbull, p. 131