Why I Let My Daughter Whine in Public
I was at the store the other day and my daughter started whining. She was ready to go home, but I still needed to pay for our groceries. I found myself reaching for my phone and handing it to her. I knew it would distract her and give me a few peaceful moments. When I got home I started to feel guilty. Was I raising my child to develop the fruit of the Spirit (love, peace, self-control, etc.) or was I avoiding being embarrassed of my crying child in public?
In today’s culture we are given messages that we can get what we want when we want it. Personally I don’t want my daughter growing up thinking she can get her way if she whines, cries or pouts. At this point my daughter has not given her life to Christ, as she doesn’t quite understand the concept at her age. I believe as parents we serve one of the roles of the Holy Spirit in our daughter. We can correct and convict just as the Holy Spirit corrects and guides us. So the next time I’m faced with the decision to quickly pacify my daughter to avoid embarrassment or teach her one of the fruits of the Spirit, I pray I make the harder choice.
When God gave us our daughter he entrusted a life into our hands. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV) we should “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” This is a big task as a parent. As parents we can look to Jesus and our Heavenly Father to guide us in raising our children. God does not always give us what we want, but he always gives us what we need. This could mean discipline, pruning or blessings. Sometimes it’s easier to do the quick thing. You know, put my daughter’s toys away myself or sit her in front of the computer while I make dinner. But what is that teaching her? It’s not fun discipling her or teaching her to wait, but we believe it’s our job to shape her into a godly child. I know every parent and child is different. As a family you need to decide what is best for your child.
As for our family I want to start choosing the harder thing: allowing my child to whine in public so she can learn patience.
What about you? Is this something you struggle with as well? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
How can we develop fruit of the Spirit in kids?
Lauren I commend you for doing what most parents find very challenging. I remember when our now 13 year old son, who was 4 at the time, wanted a cookie at the end of our grocery trip. This was always something I did for my kids, but in turn I expected for them to say Thank You. Well my son had in his mind that he was not going to say Thank You. I gently but firmly prodded him to say Thank You to the man for the cookie, but he continued to refuse. So In turn I looked at the man and said Thank You. I then looked at my son and told him to give me the cookie, which he did. I then explained to him, that because he would not say Thank You he could not have the cookie. In that moment you would of thought the world came to an end. He screamed with a high pitch tantrum and cried. I still needed to check out, and now was faced with a tantrum. I went to the check out, and in the midst of checking out the elderly cashier looked at me in disguse. She Asked me in frustration, what is wrong with him. I told her he would not say Thank You for his cookie, so I took it away. She said to me, Well give it back. I looked at her and said I will not, and continued to finish what I needed to. The awesome thing is, the following week, when we were finished, we went for our cookie again. When I went to remind my son to say Thank You, he looked at the man and said Thank You. Parenting is hard work, and is not always the easiest thing. I commend you for doing what you are.
Thank you Tina for sharing your story. It can be embarrassing or others can even tell us we need to make our child stop making noise, but as you said it’s important they learn these lessons.
I just wanted to say you have a great beautiful family! And I have an 8 month old daughter who, as a matter of fact, looks exactly like your daughter they could seriously be twins! That’s what caught my eye to your page was your beautiful daughter I was in shock! I was like, omg is that my daughter lol. Anyways I’m a new mom and not sure how to “discipline” my daughter since she’s only a baby but she will throw a fit if she doesn’t get her way. Or the toy she wants when she sees it in the store or something like that. So I’m not exactly sure how to handle the situation, usually I’ll just shove the pacifier in her mouth and get really red in the face (because she has the loudest scream in the world lol) not sure if you have any advice on this but it would be super helpful thank you 🙂
Thanks for following Heart of Deborah! It’s tough with a small baby. They don’t always understand when you tell them no or to be quiet because they are so small. I try to prepare my kids when we go somewhere and let them know the expectation. I know your daughter is young, but it’s a great practice to start now! We remind our 2 year old right before we exit the car how we expect her to behave. When she was very young and I would go shopping I often distracted her. She loved having one of those food pouches and it would help occupy her while I was buying groceries. And honestly, I think almost any mom will understand when they see another mom with a crying baby. I used to panic and get really embarrassed, but it happens to the best of us! Sometimes you just need to ignore their whining and keep on moving.