Tuesday, August 10, 2010

When Your Oven is on Fire...

Let me start by saying, this is a tribute to my son Cris--the calm, even tempered one of the family. Kids are funny aren't they? They each come pre-programmed with certain traits that you can work around and bend a bit, but they are there. There is not a lot you can do with the pre-programming.

I am not going to debate, nurture vs. nature, but I think there is a lot to be said for both. I love Proverb 22:6 that says, "Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it." Although more literal translation is a bit different, " Give instruction to a youth about his way, Even when he is old he turneth not from it. from it." [Young's Literal Translation]

I think this means that you need to raise child according to his bent, or his nature. If you have a sensitive child, or an artistic child, or a defiant child, or a happy-go-lucky type, or a visual learner, or an auditory one, etc., then you should adjust your parenting so that you can speak to that child's bent or nature.

Cris and daughter Elinor.
And this is where Cris comes in. He is the oldest of our five children and extremely calm and requires very little sleep. As a baby he slept about 20 minutes at a time during the day and at night woke up many times until he was over two. He stayed up late, got up early and could outlast Bob and I both. He is still, at 32, exactly this same way. He can survive for weeks on end on 5 hours or so of sleep a day--I need 8-9.

At any rate, Cris called me up over a year ago and said very calmly, "Mom? What do you do when your oven is on fire?"


Cris :Not now, but when you have a fire in your oven what do you do?

Me: I have never had a fire in my oven.

Cris [surprised and calm]: Really? Well, yesterday I was doing wings and I had a fire in my oven. Flames were shooting out and so I had Scotty hold the door while I shot it with a fire extinguisher. I think my oven might be ruined. How do I clean it?

Me: I have no idea. Maybe try some hot water and baking soda? [For those of you who don't know me, I think that hot water and baking soda, or hot water and vinegar can pretty much clean anything.]

We chatted a bit more and hung up. It took Cris hours to clean his oven and yes, it did work. No harm done. But, those words stayed with me, "What do you do when your oven is on fire?"

What do you do?
Toss baking soda on it
Shoot it with a fire extinguisher while you little brother holds the door
Call 911?

What do you do? What would your kids do?

And this is where I get back to learning styles and bents. Only Cris would non-nonchalantly call for a helper from the living room telling them he has a kitchen fire and then calmly put it out with a fire extinguisher [I might mention that one of his sisters in law promptly jumped up and dashed out the front door! She's no fool!]. That is his bent, his nature. To take things calmly, analyze the problem and quickly administer the solution. Then face the clean up later.

What about your kids? Does each have a different bent? Do the learn differently? Perhaps if you struggle with raising or teaching your child[ren] you need to discover their learning style. It is fascinating to see how just understanding a bit about how your child is wired can help you relate to them better.

I suggest "The Way They Learn," by Cynthia Tobias or listening to some of the Sonlight Podcasts. You can find podcasts about learning styles her: Take care,

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