I would say that lying and whining have been the biggest hurdles we have come across the past month or two–across the board, with all four children. As the kids emerged into a new phase with us–I would say around Thanksgiving–instead of having major meltdowns and screaming tantrums, we started having more incidences of whining, pouting, and lying when they didn’t get their way.

On the one hand, it is a happy problem to have. It means that their guards are down, that they feel comfortable, and that they don’t think we are going to send them back if they act up. We get lots of kisses and loves now. And their is rare a tantrum that warrants a spanking or grounding these days. Yay, we are doing our job!!!

On the other hand, it is completely annoying. I mean we are talking really really babyish type behaviors like coloring on the carpet with a crayon, writing on the walls, spreading a tube of toothpaste on the bed. Stuff like that. Those who know me know that behavior like that is not going to get very far for very long in this house. 🙂

Here is one of Juan P’s consequences for lying about who did what:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chmZ_VIbUrA

Okay, our backyard doesn’t normally look like that, people!!! There really was a windstorm the day before, and we thought what better way to get it picked up than as a consequence. (haha–I love having kids around the house)

The video is just one small, cute example of something Adam and I firmly believe, which is that just because our kids are adopted doesn’t mean we should treat them differently. I know what the books and “experts” say. And there are a couple of areas in which I agree that we must be mindful and sensitive of our words and actions.

But for the most part, an unacceptable behavior must have a firm consequence attached. I refuse to let our children destroy property, whether it is ours or someone else’s. I refuse to let them scream obscenities at me just because they didn’t have a perfect start in life. I refuse to cater and collapse to their every whim just because I feel badly about their previous lot in life. It is not fair or loving to be anything less than firm and disciplined. Choices have consequences, and it our job to teach our children the ramifications that follow both good and bad choices.

As I just wrote to a couple of friends this morning, the past five months have taught me one overarching lesson, which is: the power that sits in unconditional love coupled with firm discipline, is unmatched. I have always believe in this truth, but now that I see it in action, my testimony of it is strenghthened and increased. There is no greater way to lead and to teach.

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