To make them think . . .
During the learning phase of acquiring new habits, reminding can be a good help for your children, or even yourself. Reminding goes beyond repetition. We reserve reminding for when we forget to think and should already know a fact or skill.
Jesus did this from the cross when He called out the first line of Psalm 22, which minutely foretells the Crucifixion. Every Pharisee at the foot of the cross knew He was reminding them to think of the entire Psalm and its implications.
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? . . .
But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.
All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him. . . .
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.
My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.
For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.
They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.From Psalm 22
It had to make them think.
The child, who stops interrupting when Mom slightly raises her hand, is using a reminder. The stopped driver, who hears a slight horn tap and then proceeds at a green light, is using a reminder. The newcomer, who consults a photo-directory to recall a new acquaintance’s name, is using a reminder.
The word, itself, “remind,” means “pay attention, again.” We can cause our children to pay attention more often by the simple service of reminding them. Paying more attention can make the difference between knowing and doing.
- During difficult memorized recitations, I have reminded my children with signed alphabet initials of tricky words or phrases.
- A childhood playmate received reminders from her mother in the form of having to return to the door, and open and shut it quietly, 20 times, to overcome door slamming.
- “Go back and walk,” is a common reminder at our house: Walk, the first time.
- Occasionally, even a policeman will give a warning instead of a ticket, if he judges that reminder is enough.
Bible verses posted on the walls of our homes remind our children of heart attitudes. Educational and health charts do the same for their earthly needs.
Reminders should be gentle because we realize anyone can forget something.
We can make reminders exciting to our children, rather than dreaded, if we are willing to take the trouble to make them exciting. Our children are worth that trouble.
- Silly faces on a small poster, can give as much reminder as a cross voice, but with more effect. A bright yellow sticky note hangs on a sharp corner of our cabinets with a drawing of an orange duck on it, to remind passers-by to “duck,” and not hit their heads on that corner.
- The tiny poem, “Thank God for Dirty Dishes”, framed and visible near the kitchen sink, caused comfort in a small, reluctant heart at our house for many years.
- The doormat with the motto, “Wipe your paws” is a fun way to help them remember.
And I must remind you to remind your children of your love for them with plenty of hugs, kisses, and favors. ❤
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)