There were some eye rollers around my dinner table. They had my surname and were eating my food. Whenever I took that occasion to do some re-parenting, they would rotate their corneas as far north as they could get them. It didn’t bother me that they acted like they heard it all before. There were lots of signs that the wisdom I needed to impart to them hadn’t sunk in. My job as a parent was to make sure it did. I was determined to outlast their indifference. The sweet justice of it all is that my eye rollers now have eye rollers of their own. And they have the gall to complain to me about their children’s attitudes. I just say, “I don’t feel sorry for you.”
Parenting is the most repetitive undertaking any of us will ever engage in. Full stop. Don’t even ask them, “How many times do I have to tell you?” Teaching children the will of God and how to be decent human beings is a matter of repeatedly reinforcing God’s message to them. Faith comes from hearing that message. Even when it seems they are not listening, they are still hearing. They develop Christian consciences because they have heard it often enough. They learn the way they should go and will stay with it when they are older because they know it so well. Here is the payback for your efforts: “May you live to see your children’s children [roll their eyes]” (Psalm 128:6, adapted).