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What are rules REALLY made for?

I just finished the book of Leviticus. Besides my sigh of relief that I made it through, I realize how glad I am for Jesus!

I kept reading rule after rule, realizing there would be NO WAY I could ever keep them all straight.
It's a lot of work to instruct in the way she should go!

And then I started thinking, "I wonder if that's how Gracelyn feels sometimes?"

I find myself always using negatives: "Don't talk like a baby. Don't stand on the fireplace. Don't pick Jemma up, especially by the neck!"

She probably wonders, "What can I do?"

So I'm trying to change the way I phrase things. For example, instead of, "Don't talk like a baby," I say, "Using big girl words/tone of voice would help me understand you." That way she knows what is appropriate, but it doesn't seem so negative. I want her to learn, but I have to admit, I'm tired of always saying no!

Changing my approach takes more effort on my part. But that's what being a parent is all about.

And I told her, the only rule she has to follow: Obey Mommy and Daddy, the first time, every time, with a happy heart. Yes, this covers a lot of area, but it just deals with one thing. Listening to, and respecting, her parents.

I'm hoping these little adjustments will work--the defiance of three is about to drive me crazy!


  1. Amen! I just told Robbie yesterday, that I feel like such a negative person - saying "Don't" and "No". It takes a lot of effort to give the commands in a positive manner, but I certainly try.

  2. I'm struggling with the same thing. It is so hard to not throw so many rules at them. They constantly need training, but you're right, it doesn't have to be a negative. Three is definitely more challenging than two. I'm expecting her to be an angel by the time she's four :)


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