As any mom with small children will tell you, “getting out the door” is an exercise in craziness and chaos. Screaming fits and blow-out diapers, lost keys and runaway children all wait for the moment you want to go somewhere.
Just. Get. In. The. Car.
But when my four-year-old daughter Caly was younger, I read a suggestion from one mom about training your children to sit quietly in one spot. I decided this would come in handy for when I was trying to leave the house. I worked with Caly and she soon got the hang of it. And a few weeks ago, I began to teach eighteen-month-old MJ.
Every morning after breakfast we have “sit time.” Even though MJ only says a handful of words, she knows exactly what I’m talking about. She and Caly go to the stairs and sit on separate steps until the timer goes off. We started with one minute and increased the time bit by bit as the weeks went on.
It’s hilarious to watch. Every muscle in MJ’s body wants to stand up, but she’s learning to sit still and can now do so for a grand total of five minutes! Caly loves “being a good example” and showing MJ how to obey. We cheer and clap when that little timer goes off.
This little exercise makes the “getting out the door” process a lot more peaceful. The girls sit quietly while I search for my lost keys! But more importantly, MJ is learning obedience and self-control—the peaceful traits of which I pray she’ll reap for the rest of her life.