Sunday, June 14, 2009

You're a Hard Habit to Break

Yes, I'm speaking of thumb sucking. For quite awhile, Adam has been saying that when he turns 4 he will no longer be sucking his thumb. In place of this, he will be allowed to chew gum. We've been going along with this. So yesterday he turned 4, and set out, with much vision and determination, to break his four-year habit.

By the end of the day he was beginning to realize that this was going to be very difficult. He didn't think he could do it. The confidence he had earlier in the morning was beginning to wane. It's difficult to see your child begin to doubt himself. I was glad, however, that he was thinking about it, and he wanted to quit (he also wants to chew gum really bad).

Before he went to bed he was sharing that it's too hard, so I told him that breaking habits is always hard. He asked what I meant by that. I brought up smoking, and he didn't really know what I meant, so I pretended that I was smoking a cigarette, thinking that he'd say, "oh yeah, I know what that is." Instead, he just started pretending he was smoking a cigarette. I saw in Mandy's expression that I probably should have used a different analogy.

Then my brilliant wife suggested something I should have done from the beginning. She suggested that we pray about it. Adam is still learning how to pray, but this is probably the best way to show him what prayer truly is. It's simply saying, "help." We encouraged him to pray, "God, help me to quit sucking my thumb." He prayed, then went to bed.

My prayer is that God would teach Adam through this experience. I pray that Adam would learn that God is strong and that God is loving (Psalm 62:11-12). And I pray that Adam would learn at a young age that God brings victory, and that his confidence would be rooted in this fact.

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