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Speaking of Teaching Children...

Of course I'd have to post my last post about teaching children good doctrine and fine manners right before leaving for church on a Sunday. That was downright stupid of me.

I've just got to tell you at this point that I love our children's Sunday School teachers. I'm telling you, they really *try* to help these fellows of mine integrate with everyone else. Every class time, they take small Elf aside and read a "social story" we made from an old Wal-Mart photo book. It is called "How to Act at Church" and details such expectations as "listen to the teacher," complete with Elf and Emperor's illustrations. Aww.

Elf is allowed to pick his own seat and I have (somehow) the distinct impression that they let a few things slide for my kids. As one *ahem* sweet little girl from the congregation remarked once, "Your kids are weird. Especially Elf." Thanks. We can't all be almost perfect like you are, lacking only lessons in "tact" and "kindness."

I was called back not too long after service started by a dear teacher who actually specializes in dealing with kids like this in public school (too bad they have such draconian behaviour strategies for these kids in our district... those are the children we truly "left behind"). I'm thinking she has missed her calling as a PR specialist. I mean, if she worked for the Obama people, Republicans would somehow be loving him within six months because she's a master of positive spin. Here's what she told me:

Elf is "having trouble selecting a seat."
Elf "seems to have difficulty following directions this morning."
"We" are having a "hard time getting Elf settled."
"Others" are becoming distracted.
She would like me to come back and "talk to him."

Ok, here I come. Elfie is furious. He scowls, stomps, AND eyerolls all the way to the vacant classroom across the hall. He does NOT want to be in church today. It isn't right. He shouldn't have to listen to... (redfaced, angry, crying gulp) THOSE people!

Um... because...?

I shouldn't have to be here! I am only going to go to church on Sundays and Wednesdays! I REE... FUUUUUSE... to... to... gotochuch on... THURSDAY! GrrrRRRrrrRRRRR! (folding arms)

Lesson to Mom: When Elf asks if it is Wednesday night or Sunday morning on the way to church, do NOT sarcastically answer that it's Thursday, silly goose, and then proceed to drop him off thinking all is well. Don't do that again. Ever.

Sigh. So I have to explain the situation to him, that I was just pretending about it being Thursday, thinking that he would know that it is *so* obviously not. He is angry that I LIED to him.

He re... (*stomp*) FUUUUUUses to go to church. He shouldn't have to go. Can he go home? (Nope. Insert long boring explanation here, with lots of "Mom thinks that..." because... and...)

Can he stay with Mom? (Nope.) Why can't he stay with Mom? (Retell long, boring explanation. Now it's time to go back to class, ok?)

He'll be bad if you send him back to Children's Church, so you'd BETTER take him with you. (Sorry, Mom doesn't negotiate with terrorists. You're going back, or you're staying here until you're ready to go back.)

"Fine. I'll stay here the whole time, and then church will be over." *smug little smile*

I'm thinking that somehow this little guy didn't get his "Happy Elf Homeschool" star for being a good boy in church. What's your guess?


  1. heeheeheee. ☺ Nor should you ever negotiate with terrorists. They don't play nice.

    Oh man! Some days are just like that, aren't they?!

  2. Yeah. Now Patrick and G are snickering about every little thing and going, "But it's THURSDAY!"

    It's never over LOL!

  3. That'll teach you to wisecrack with a literal kid!!!!!!

    I am saddened at the thought that way too many churches (in my present, past, and future experience) included succumb to pure behaviorism . . . the law is there to tell us we need Jesus as our savior because we sure can't stick to it. Then, we turn around and hand out prizes for perfect Sunday school attendance, stickers and points for competition between teams at VBS, etc. God wants a relationship and all we know how to do us hand out stickers for good behavior! When our kids bail out of church in college, it is only because we have trained them to be good little pharisees and they see the hypocrisy of that!

    To be honest, I did not take my kids to church until they could handle it. My eldest was eleven and youngest, seven when we started attending regularly. I only put my kids in a Sunday school class when I knew the teacher did not have a behaviorist mentality and when they actually came home telling me they learned something interesting. Thus, our attendance of Sunday school has been very casual because most programs aren't worth attending.

  4. "(Sorry, Mom doesn't negotiate with terrorists.) "

    he he.. That part made me laugh..

    On another note can you get to my blog ok? your not listed as a follower anymore so I'm not sure if someone hacked into my blog or not..


  5. Anonymous, now that you mention, you must have been looking a long time for a church without a behaviourist program. Looking back I don't think I've seen such a thing. Funny how "the world" creeps in, eh? Honestly, I mostly take my children because that's the only other time they see other kids. They don't get invited places very much. At all.

    Shelly, I'm glad we sort of got our problem straightened out! :]

  6. Totally understand about how frustrating it is to deal with such issues. I keep my children out of SS and in church with me. Since someone who loves you might not tell you you do need to keep being strong in the area of obedience. I am a mom of 4 yes 4 autistic children. My goal is that they can be a blessing to others so that one day when I am not around others will actually like my kids. :-) ReFUSSSSSSSSSING should NOOOOOOOOOT be tolerated. Obedience needs to be instilled. Your son should know that if momma says were are going to to church on Thursday or Monday..... he will obey. Stickers are not enough. The Bible tells us how to train and there are no exceptions for our lovely labels.

  7. Yes, Elf did go back to Sunday School, because I want him to learn how to deal with others when I'm not around just like you do. :]

    It's hard sometimes, as you well know. Obedience is only part of the battle. I would like to have Elf learn to care for others and consider how others would feel if he did this or that. So far he understands this theoretically and can pray for people, but the practical side of this needs some work. The label only explains that "this is really hard for Elf," not, "this is acceptable for Elf to do." So often we find ourselves trying to help our children with these hard things, and it's a lot of work.

    Blessings back!


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