As he gets older, I want him to know that he can come to me for help when "his flip flop comes off" and he learns this when I take the time and pause to help him solve a problem. Maybe that is patiently explaining that yes the flip flop can wait for a little while. Maybe that is taking the time to help him put it on because it is okay to do so. Maybe that is telling him that he needs to try and figure out how to accomplish this himself and rejoicing with him when he does. Flip flops that fall off may become issues with friends later. Struggles with sins. Confusion about something in the word. Whatever the issue no matter how large or small, I want to be able to set up the environment now and water the seed so that he knows that I am a person that is safe to come to with issues and I won't just knock off his problem as being too petty and unimportant. I want him to understand that I will take the time to help him figure it out. I won't always just put the flip flop back on like I did that day in the car, but I will be there to help and be willing. Again, that help may look vastly different depending on the situation. But simple things like flip flops that fall off gives us a chance to think about the future and how the things we do now can make an impact on that future.
Now, a disclaimer here. I am not saying that by doing or NOT doing these things will cause your future to just be messed up. That is prideful thinking. God is sovereign and just because I did not put Levi's flip flop on in the car does NOT mean that I will create a teenager that won't ever come to me with issues. God is bigger than me and what I do. Some of the best parents in the Bible had the worst kids and some of the worst parents in the Bible had the most God-fearing and awesome kids. God is bigger and He is enough. But that doesn't mean that we are to just sit on the side-lines saying "okay God, it's all you! I know you got this." We are still to "work out our salvation with fear and trembling" and strive to raise little ones who love the Lord. This is an act of praise and worship and should be a fruit of our salvation but not something we do because we want to EARN our salvation.
But, when your child's flip flop falls off, remember that it isn't as simple as that. There is always eternity in view. This is a little soul we are dealing with and we have the wonderful chance to nurture and help grow that soul. :)
Most importantly though, always remember: