I wrote a very emotion filled post yesterday about Joey, and in the end, I decided not to post it. I am going to post an update, though.
Yesterday was a very hard day for Joey. He was coming off his medicine, and he refused to obey anything we said. Even the tiny simply 'Come here, Joey' he wouldn't do. Eventually I just put the poor child to bed early.
We desperately want Joey to see that obedience brings rewards, and disobedience brings sadness. The first and only fit he threw at naptime has been a teaching tool. The next day, I reminded him of how he acted, and of how sad he was. He hasn't thrown a fit at naptime since.
Today, he is still obstinate, but so far, when I remind him of last night, and how sad he was when he didn't obey, each bad attitude has turned itself around in a hurry.
Joey needs prayer. He has lived four years, and the pattern of getting his own way has become pretty deeply ingrained. Christopher throws his tantrums, too, but we see a real sweet spirit underneath it, and we don't see the same tenderness in Joey.
We are really praying and hoping that his attitude will be changed, and we know that even though we can teach him what his heart should be, and reinforce it with discipline, ultimately, it is God who will replace his heart of stone with a heart of flesh. We cannot wait until it is obvious in his behavior that God has done that.