I know that there are many parents who don’t see them as the blessing that they truly are. Their children are whiny, disobedient, destructive, etc…. Yeah, mine are that way too sometimes *smile*.
We, as parents also have a hard job to TRAIN our children… but you really can’t reason with a two year old. We have found that repetition is one thing that really makes a huge difference. You know the old saying "Practice makes perfect", well, there is some old-fashioned wisdom in it!
One of the gifts that we got for the boys at Christmas was a set of the Help Me Be Good books by Joy Berry. It is a set of 29 books that help you teach your children about not being messy, not being a tattle-tale, being obedient, etc. The books are pretty pricey (I think it is around $280 with shipping for the whole set if you buy it from the company) but you can normally find a whole on ebay for a pretty reasonable price (we got our for around $50 including shipping… that is less than $2 a book and it is well worth it).
We like to focus on one book at a time. We will read that book everyday at bedtime. We don’t always read the book word for word b/c it is just fun to ad-lib a bit. The books are "moral" but are not Christian based. I like to add in verses/principles from the Bible. For example, when we went through the book about lying, I added in a part that said, "The most important reason we shouldn’t lie is because God has commanded us not to lie. God gave us His commandments, which is another word for rules, so that we could be safe and happy. When we lie, we not only make mommy and daddy upset, but we also displease the Lord." I think it is important to not only teach our children things that are moral, but as Christians, we must take it a step further and point them to the Biblical reason for why do things.
As an added bonus, going through these books has helped me be a better mother. Instead of just angry and losing my temper because the boys have __________ (fill in the blank with any inappropriate behavior), I remind them of what we have read. It normally goes something like this:
Fisher: WAHHHHHH, I don’t want too!!!! (stomps foots and pours out some tears).
Me: Fisher, are you having a tantrum?
Fisher: WAHHHH!!! No….. uh….yes.
Me: Are we supposed to throw a tantrum?
Me: Why are we not supposed to throw a tantrum?
Fisher: Because no one will want to play with me.