Every night before bedtime for the past year or more, we have read a story from Hana's little children's Bible. We've been all the way through the Bible twice, and just recently started over again at the beginning of Genesis. Hana LOVES this part of her bedtime routine and will not allow it to be passed over for anything.
She loves Bible time and the newest part of her bedtime routine which she calls "stickers". I started a reward system where she gets a sticker for 5 things she had to do each day. Make her bed, use manners at the table, pick up toy, dress herself, and speak kindly to Mommy and Daddy. These were all areas we were battling over everyday and I got tired of having to use force to make her do them, and hearing constant whinning regarding most of these issues. So we implemented the sticker system, for every category she did well in, she gets a sticker at the end of the day and that includes doing each of them joyfully WITHOUT whinning!!! It has worked like a charm. Mid-day, if I am having trouble getting her cooperation, all I have to do is mention the loss of a sticker, and she straightens up right away. And a major incident of disobedience can result in the loss of all stickers for the day, which she learned she doesn't like at all the first time she lost all her stickers for disobeying. It has been such a relief to have a tool that motivates her to do things, instead of forcing her to do things unwillingly which was all that I could do before. Incidentally she also gets 5 yen for each sticker she earns, she saves them in a little piggy bank, and will take 10% to church each Sunday and the rest can be used to buy a toy now and again on a shopping trip.
Well, back to the Bible story time. From the time the New Testament was about to end a couple weeks ago, she KNEW that we were going to start over from the beginning again and she knew which story was coming. She started asking for the apple story everyday, and she was soooooooooooooo excited when we finally got to it three days ago. She was enthrawled by this story all of the sudden. She has also requested that we re-read it everyday since, and I am gladly complying since this story is a basical Biblical truth that I want her to grasp well.
And grasp it well is exactly what she is doing. The first night we read it she kept asking which tree that God told Adam and Even not to eat from. The second night she went on and on about that tree being a no-no and was shocked when Adam and Eve disobeyed. When I read the part about them being kicked out of the garden she said, "They need spanking! This a spanking?" And I said that yes God kicking them out of the garden is kind of like a spanking. Then she asked if the snake has a belly button (since he has to crawl on his belly from now on!) LOL
Then tonight, she really wanted to know WHY God told them they couldn't eat from that one tree. And why did they eat from it. When we read about Adam and Eve leaving the garden tonight she said, "Mommy, NO stickers today!" I told her that she was right, they had done something very wrong and wouldn't be getting any stickers that day.
It just amazes me, at 3 years old she clearly understands right and wrong and consequences that come with disobeying. But what's more, she really wants to understand WHY God wouldn't let them eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. I can't wait till she can understand the deep meaning behind this story, and not just that God disciplined Adam and Eve but that He showed them mercy and love also.
Raising kids is such a blast!!!!!