Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Parenting: Learning To Care About Others

Rachelle had just been born.
I had LaRae get a doll we could put in the bath tub (an old one of mine actually) and I told her we would bathe her baby like I bathed Rachelle. LaRae quickly ran to get her potty chair so her baby could take care of that before the bath.
(She had recently finished being "trained," so I guess this was more on her mind than diapers that first week of Rachelle's life.)
But I used the doll for a while to have LaRae do things for her "baby" that I did for Rachelle.
I hoped it would preoccupy her in a good way, train her in mothering skills, and help her think of "others" since she was adjusting to this new baby who had invaded her space.

For the first two years of LaRae's life, she was pretty much the center of attention for our close friends and family. It had been a long time since any of us had had a baby in our midst. She. got. a. lot. of. attention.

As we started seeing certain characteristics developing partly due to this scenario, we had to take measures to train her to deal with the forces she was feeling and responding to. If she acted out selfishly toward her little sister, Curt and I were quick to shame her (from hearts that loved her and cared about her ultimate good) and assure her such behavior would not be permitted. We treated it like the evil it was, the evil we all have to deal with in our hearts, our in-born bent toward selfishness. We talked to her about how selfishness toward her little sister is the first beginnings of self-centered acts like murder. With prayer, diligence, and being as consistent as we could, it wasn't long before she began to embrace the reality of what we were teaching her, and she became a loving big sister who delighted us all. Thanks be to God!

This picture makes me laugh. 
I don't remember exactly what happened,
but Rachelle's headband had slipped down over her eyes.
LaRae brought her to me.
I do remember that.  : )





LaRae eventually began to take joy in "teaching" her little sister all sorts of things.
Of course, we had to help her get through the "wise-in-your-own-eyes" phenomena that can develop.
There are so many ways our flesh will lead us astray, aren't there?!
Thank God for scripture that brings to light the things we need to watch for!
Thankfully, Curt and I had continual help at church and from our reading and studying to see things in our own lives we were correcting so we could pretty much (in those early days) stay ahead of the girls enough to train them. :)


Years later, as our girls matured and started developing a personal relationship with God, they began to see things they could help us with. In the right way and in the right time and place, they have done so and still do! 

It's a beautiful thing, and I'm ever grateful.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the blog which brings laughs & tears at the same time. Being reared as a PK you received some flak you did not deserve, while on the other hand, some honor you should have been given was withheld. I noticed from the dic-tionary that the name "Laura" comes from the Latin word for "laurel" and some of the meanings have to do with honors won for achievement in a field or activity; to honor with marks of distinction. Please allow me to say, You are an exlempary Christian, mother and musician, and daughter & we can't thank you enough for the tremendous joy you have given us. Your name suits you well! Mom & Dad

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Mother and Daddy. What a joy it is to share this life with you! I owe you more than I could ever hope to repay.

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