When my three girls were nine, seven and four, they began to tutor their dad about engaging with their hearts and not just their behavior. Some significant obstacles had to be understood, addressed and removed in my relationship with these precious girls. For too long, all I wanted to give them as their dad seemed to be hindered by all I was wanting and needing to get from them. More and more it became evident that much of what I was doing was trying to control their behavior—and worse, my motivation to do this was to make life more convenient for me. So often I tried to get them to do what I told them when I told them—and in record time—so we could move on to the next task or just get through the next moment. I would look at things they did and tell them what they had done wrong. It was never a question on my part as to what they were thinking or feeling. I had determined I already knew and had responded accordingly with, Do more, be better and try harder.
The results of this method soon became increasingly clear. It wasn’t working. You see, I can make my children behave, I can modify their behavior with a stern or threatening voice or an ultimatum, and I can get results. This program can work simply because I’m bigger and stronger, and I can intimidate them. I remember as a boy being sent to my room to think about my bad behavior or being made to pick something up or do a chore over again. I did it, but you don’t want to know what I was saying about my parents in my heart and under my breath. They had my behavior but not my heart. What if we could get both? (Chapter 8)
An excerpt from Search and Rescue.