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Put that tongue back in your mouth

Hello my friends! Good to be with you again! I always look forward to this time together! As always, take a minute, pour something warm to drink, and let’s hang out!

I was at the mall in the Chick-fil-A line. It is a delicate process to take the girls out to lunch when I am by myself. They are four, three, and almost two. We have our specific routine, including wiping the table, setting up two high chairs, sticking four kids mats to the table, and dispensing hand sanitize. After giving them a few pepper packets to keep them occupied and seated, I get in the (usually lengthy) CFA line while I keep an eye on them and give them the occasional gesture to stay seated before they fall out of the high chairs. I must say, they usually do well, so I can’t complain.

This particular day, as I stood in line, I saw it My four-year-old girl’s tongue stick out of her mouth. I quickly glanced around to see who she was behaving so rudely to. I spotted a little girl with her dad in line in front of me. I did not know why she would have stuck her tongue out, but it did not really matter to me, even if the other kid did it first.

I left the line, asked her who she stuck her tongue out to and she motioned to the girl standing with her dad. I did not get an answer as to why or as to who started it, but we had a chat about how that behavior is inappropriate regardless. I did not want to. I really did not. I did not want to embarrass her and really did not want to put myself out there, but I knew I needed to. I grabbed her hand so we could walk to the girl and her dad in line. I explained what she had done, and looked at her as her cue to say “I’m sorry.” She hid behind my leg and mumbled it after a few nudges. Her face began to squint up and we walked back to the table. We talked about how we treat others no matter what they do. We repeat the Bible verse, “Always do what is right” quite often at home as we learn life lessons (Deuteronomy 6:18). After all, “doing what is righteous and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice” (Proverbs 21:3).

I totally did not want to even take the time to do more than talk to her in this situation but I knew for her to take responsibility for her actions, even at age four, would make more of an impact. I did not want to be embarrassed myself. The great part about aging is, the older I get, the less I care what people think! What freedom! I smile because it is wonderful breaking free from the opinions of others. High school is difficult because of the state of growth of the brain, which causes incredible ego centrism, but aging allows people to grow away from it. I know now more than ever, I answer to God, so I do what is right and God’s opinion is the only one that matters. Woop woop!

I want to encourage all of you, if you have children, no matter the age, to be persistent in teaching them what is right! After all, to know right and do wrong is a sin (James 4:17). You make the impact. Even when it is inconvenient, even if it might be embarrassing, even if it might be uncomfortable, love your child enough to teach them to do right. I talk to parents in my counseling practice all the time who struggle with behavior and the like. I encourage them to keep holding their children responsible for their actions even when they are tired. Love is tough in many ways, right?!

If you do not have children, or you are a teenager, remember to “always do what is right,” even when it is the tough choice. You may not have Christian parents there to help you make right choices, and I know that makes it tougher for you. You can still learn to follow Christ and do what is right as a child of the Savior.

Love you all! Have a fantastic week! As the mom says to her daughter on Freaky Friday as she drops her off at school, “Make good choices!”



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