Years ago the following popped into my inbox from an unknown source. Being a writer and a mom, I polished it and today pass it along to you as humorous comfort in these challenging years of childrearing.
After creating heaven and earth, God made his children, Adam and Eve. And among the first things He said to them was, "Don't."
"Don't what?" asked Adam.
"Don't eat the forbidden fruit," God replied pointing out beautiful apples hanging on a particular tree.
"Forbidden fruit? We got forbidden fruit? Hey, Eve . . . we got forbidden fruit!"
"Don't eat that fruit," repeated God.
"'Cause I'm your Father and I say so," God reminded (wondering why He hadn't stopped after making hyenas). Later, God saw his kids having an apple break and, disappointed with their behavior, He got annoyed. "Didn't I tell you two not to eat that fruit?"
"What fruit?" quizzed Adam, looking dumbfounded as juice drooled down his chin.
"I dunno," Eve inserted.
"She started it," Adam charged.
"Did not!" denied Eve.
Having had it with the two of them, God decided on an appropriate consequence - Adam and Eve will have children of their own. Thus, the consequence was set and has never changed.
The reassurance to this story is: If you lovingly and persistently give good guidance to children and they still go astray, take heart. Children aren't always a reflection of their parents. After all, even the Perfect Parent had (has) challenging children at times.