Melvyn Tan
October 4, 2013 — By tanmelvyn@gmail.com

What To Do When Your Toddler Won’t Listen

[blockquote source=”Jeremiah 3:15 (NIV)“]Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.[/blockquote] What’s the difference between knowing and understanding?  This was the main thing that occupied my mind for a good part of the day.  But as I ponder over it, it began to dawn on […]

[blockquote source=”Jeremiah 3:15 (NIV)“]Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.[/blockquote]

What’s the difference between knowing and understanding?  This was the main thing that occupied my mind for a good part of the day.  But as I ponder over it, it began to dawn on me the deep difference.

As quoted by Robert Mills in his blog:

  • I know how to drive a car but I don’t understand how a car works
  • I know what the holographic principle is but I certainly don’t understand it
  • I know you’re upset but I don’t understand why

I think the last one struck me the hardest.

I was to bring my son for a trial music lesson this morning.  For some reasons, I kept thinking the venue was at this place, where in fact it was at another location.  But I only realised after I’ve parked the car and gotten him out of it.

For those of you who are parents, you would know what kind of a struggle it can be just to get the little ones into the car seats.

We were already running late and I had to put him back into the car seat to drive to the correct location.  He not only refused but was also kicking and screaming and crying.  I tried reasoning to him that “Daddy got us to the wrong location, and in order to go for your music lesson, we need to get into the car and drive to our destination”.

Somehow his thirty months old brain does not understand what it meant!

So first I tried the reasoning method.  Explaining to him gently why we need to get back into the car.  It did not work.

Next I tried the threatening method.  Saying that if he does not comply with my requests, this would be the last that we will be going to a music lesson.  It did not work.

Now, I am getting desperate.  Not only were we late, he was visibly agitated and so was I.  Besides, the heat in the car park was getting unbearable for the both of us.

Finally, what worked for me was that I had to be really firm (almost to the point of yelling)!  Only then did he know that his old man was upset.  But did he understand why was I upset?  I doubt it.

Father, sometimes I know what You are saying to me, but I may not necessarily understand, or perhaps I chose to not understand.  Father thank You for your grace and Your unfailing love.  Please give me the courage, strength, and wisdom to help me understand Your word, so that I could act on it.  In Christ’s name, Amen.