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Monday, October 1, 2007

seizing the moments

Last Saturday Abi blatently lied to me ... it was really not a big deal - she was helping her sister pick up some candies that she dropped and said "This one is mine - I dropped it." I looked at her skeptically and asked, "Are you sure?"
"Yes, this one's mine."
"I don't think so - would you like to change your story before you get yourself in trouble for lying?"
"No mom, this one is mine - I dropped it!"
"If I find out you lied to me you'll have to have to have soap in your mouth ..."
She started to look unsure and I think I saw a tear coming to her eye. I asked again, "Do you want to change your story?"
She shook her head, I gave her that 'are-you-sure' look, and she started to nod.
"It's not yours is it?"
She shook her head. I had to put soap in her mouth for lying ...
After the lie was 'washed out' came the teaching moment.
"Abi, Heavenly Father wants us to be honest, do you know what it means to be honest?"
"Tell the truth."
"Even if you think you're going to get in trouble - because the trouble you will be in for lying is always worse than when you tell the truth. You need to tell your sister you're sorry and then tell Heavenly Father that you're sorry and ask him to forgive you."
We knelt by the couch and I could see remorse all over her face.
"Will you help me?"
"You know how to talk to Heavenly Father - just start a prayer."
She said again, with a little waver in her voice, "will you help me?"
I said the words and she repeated them, telling Heavenly Father she had lied to mom and that she was sorry. Asking for forgiveness, promising to do better and not lie anymore and asking for help to be honest. We closed the prayer and she climbed on my lap and buried her tear-stained face in my chest. We talked about that feeling she had. That pit in her stomach. That's the feeling we get when we do something we know we're not supposed to. The Holy Ghost can't be with us if we aren't honest. Heavenly Father loves us and wants to send the Holy Ghost to be with us but we have to be doing what's right.
It was powerful and I'm so glad I 'seized the moment' - I'm hopeful that she will remember this experience as well as she remembers everything else.
I'm thankful for little teaching moments so that we can 'train up' our children.


aliciadiane said...

Great job Super Mom! Good job taking the time to teach even though, I am sure, you had a lot of other stuff going on too. That is what it's all about.

Amy said...

What a beautiful moment, thanks for sharing. Those are the times that make being a mom worth it. You hope that these lessons last a lifetime, that she wont feel the hurt of dishonesty in her life. She will always remember that you took the time to teach her.

Rini said...

I am so very impressed! In my motherly plight I have almost never found anyone else with the belief, stamina, and skill to be able to teach their children much more than how to "survive" and what not to do. Perhaps I spend my time with the wrong crowd, but I read this episode of the Emily Files and it really empowered me. I feel like I'm not alone in the "being a good mom" category and I thank you dearly for sharing.

Anonymous said...

You're such a great mom, Em. Thanks for sharing and inspiring us to take those moments to teach - and not just be angry or appalled that our child lied to us. Now I'm a little more prepared for when mine start those shenanigans.

Nicki said...

Oops, that was me up there. ;)