Thursday, October 27, 2005

Always right

I spend a lot of time disciplining my son. He's a great kid, and smart enough to test the boundaries all the time, especially when it comes to schoolwork. So lately I've had to just say, "Here's the deal. Do as you're supposed to or no privileges." No computer, no TV, no going outside to skateboard, no trips to the mall with friends. I pretty much brought the hammer down for this, his eighth grade year.


This doesn't always make for a placid home environment! But I'm more and more convinced it's the way to go. I'm actually going to be canceling cable today (well, we'll still have Basic, but no more Comedy Central).


I *have* had to learn how not to punish in anger. This never works, it just backfires. But when he says things like, "This isn't fair!" and I can calmly lay out exactly what actions of his led to what decisions of mine, he gets quiet. Aggravated, but quiet. And he eventually bursts out, "Oh, you're right! You're right! You're always right!"


The title of the Bible Lesson this week captures what I think he thinks he's going through: Everlasting Punishment. Mom, however, is really enjoying this lesson. It's helping me see I have to take the long view, that's my job as a parent. I have to see him to adulthood by correcting his mistakes now while the stakes are low. If the things that are tripping him up now continue into adulthood, the stakes will be much higher and he'll have to pay a higher price than no IMing for a week.


The lesson also has this passage:


Principle is imperative. You cannot mock it by human will. Science is a divine demand, not a human. Always right, its divine Principle never repents, but maintains the claim of Truth by quenching error.

--Science and Health


My eyes caught on that "always right" part. I think my son often sees me that way—always right, never repenting. I suddenly saw myself as trying in my own limited way to be expressing that divine Principle.


Sometimes I'm definitely not right, though. Like those times when I do get angry. The other night I stormed into his room about something trivial, and right in the middle of my tirade he spoke over me and said firmly, "You shouldn't be yelling at me so much." I sputtered for a bit more and wound down, and later apologized.


It occurs to me now that the only way to be "always right" is to be aligned with that Principle. Principle, God, divine Mind, is the only One who is always right. There is no right outside of Principle. And that Principle is Love.


Both my son and I have to learn to live aligned with that Principle. We're teaching each other, day by day. And someday, maybe we'll both get more privileges. :)


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1 Comments:

At 10/27/2005 05:30:00 PM, Anonymous Rev. Veronika Birken said...

You are blessed, to have this 'holy' relationship with your son in which you are both learning to be the reflection of the one Mind.
Love, Veronika

 

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