I promised someone that the first parenting blog would explain why the Eisel children stop everything at the sound of “Freeze.” No, they are not convicted criminals nor are Tim and I former police officers; “Freeze” as a command came from something called behavior training.
Tim and I had great parenting mentors. We have no family in Columbus so it was important to get involved with a local family worthy to emulate. We started spending time with, evaluating, and discussing families who we knew. Basically we stalked families: in the park, at the store, at church, in their homes (when invited). Mike and Lynn Radigan made the cut as people who ran their home with discipline, grace and godly encouragement. Radigan’s have no small task – they have six kids.
Behavior training was one of the most practical things we learned from the Radigan family. They encouraged us to train our children in various situations before so that we not set them up for failure. Invest some time in practice and you will reap rewards long after. Most people train for work, sports and at school. How can we expect our kids to behave if we never show or have them practice how to behave? Here is an example.
- Practice Shopping: Go to the store. Have fun showing and telling kids what is correct and incorrect behavior. Leave if they are misbehaving to practice discipline and give positive reinforcement for learning well. Once they can behave in practice – then shop with them. Every time you go, review with them your expectations verbally before hand.
- Never, if possible, take a kids who is tired or hungry into a store – you deserve the fit that is thrown because you have set them up for failure. The child is more important than the shoes – a life truth that is hard for me to remember sometimes in my selfish desires!
This brings us back to my promise. “Freeze” is a game we started to help our kids know how to stay safe in any situation. We practiced many hours at home in the back yard as a running game and in the house as a wiggle game. Now when our kids hear “freeze” – they stop; it is trained into them. (Unless they are tired or hungry – and then we deserve the disobedience we get!)
“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for bothe the present life and the life to come” I Timothy 4:8