Friday, April 3, 2009

discipline? behavior mgmt? layin' down the law?


As mentioned in the previous post, I've been thinking a lot about M's heart...spurred on by his behavior of late. We know that behavior is an outflow of the heart (Proverbs 4:23) and that, without an internal change, any external changes may be helpful to our sanity momentarily but not truly beneficial for the child eternally.

While each parent should seek God's will and wisdom for their parenting through prayer and scripture, I always love hearing what God is doing in the lives of, if anyone is interested in a discussion, here are my questions. You don't have to answer ALL of the questions to participate!

- What do you believe the parent's role is in regards to the child's relationship with God?

- Do you talk to your child about the gospel when you deal with behavior issues? If yes, how? If not, why not?

- Regarding outright defiance against your authority, how to you handle such occurences?
(i.e. do you give warnings, do you deal differently with blatant disobedience than with tantrums or other issues, does the child's safety in the matter have an effect on your response--such as "stay out of the street" versus "pick up your toys"?)

That's all for now...gotta get ready for a chocolate taste test tonight!!

Happy weekend!


Andrea said...

God wants us to come to Him by choice, so we teach our children about God and His Son, share the Word with them and Pray that they make the choice to part of the Kingdom.We can't make them..but we can make it easier for them to understand why it is important.

We do discuss scripture when talking to the children about offenses. Not every single time..ya know..but for the BIG ones..telling stories, being mean, being hurtful, jealousy,hitting, selfishness, no doing as they are told, or doing things they are told not to. Matters of the Heart.
They know that we discipline because it is what God expects of us as their parents. I think it helps them to know that we are ALL accountable to God.

We have a NO TOLERANCE household when it comes to defiance.
At M's age~ we do not try to reason or try to talk them into seeing things our way. You do what I say OR you've had it.
We start the reasoning and the "logic" approach at around age 5.
Email me or call me if you want details...but you have to keep in mind that I have 6 kids and I do not play when it comes to "minding Mama". I am a busy girl and I do not have time to fool with a bunch of kids acting like they jumped straight out of "Lord of the Flies". ;)


Tami said...

John and I talk to N and O about God, Jesus, scripture, in an age appropriate manner, and of course go to church. I agree with Andrea....we can do our part, but we can't force them to believe, just do our best to lay the foundation and show them the way. We try to lead by example.

In terms of more serious offenses, in addition to consequences we ask the boys about what they think God would feel about what just happened. We try to instill the fact that God knows their heart and sees the truth behind what has happened, and when you do something you know is wrong, act in an inappropriate manner, or lie...God sees. We try to get them to listen to that little voice inside them that speaks to 'right and wrong'. We tell them it was placed there by need to listen to it.

Tish said...

THIS IS FROM LISA...SHE POSTED THIS TO THE OTHER BLOG: For me, I absolutely try to use our faith to help instill a sense of morality for our L and soon for T too, I reckon. Mostly its the big issues that I feel resonate with them or are age appropriate.....such as, "do unto others & the Golden Rule"....prayers for others at bedtime, seeking forgiveness and strength from above....celebrating holidays with an understanding of our religious beliefs/traditions. But I will admit that often its just warnings, reminders and a time out or consequence if warranted.

Mostly I just always wish for them to both know God's grace/love and understand that we are all part of something larger than ourselves. And to always feel connected to a faith, regardless of it being ours or something they seek down the road.

And yes, if its imminent danger I react immediately, as opposed to the Magic 1-2-3 or discussing consequences. I also read books with those themes, such as stranger danger, crossing roadways, poison, etc.....hopefully without scaring anyone! :)
Did I completely miss the boat on this one?? LOL You probably were just hoping for thoughts on the darling pictures....and they are darling!!
Happy weekend!

Tish said...

Ladies, thanks so much for sharing such detailed info! You guys are great!

I used to think of my role as more of leading by example (showing the grace, forgiveness, etc of God and yet also modeling the confession, prayer,repentance, etc of a sinner), but lately in my Bible study, I am realizing the importance of ALSO intentionally sharing God's Word with M.

For me, this means digging alittle deeper in the Bible stories that we are already reading (for ex, this might mean asking M what would have happened if Noah had said NO to God when told to build the ark...or talking about how just as the ark kept Noah safe and dry, Jesus keeps us safe).

But also I am sharing other truths with M, too. The other day after he was disciplined for blatant defiance, I actually got my Bible out and read to M from Ephesians 6 (children obey your parents)...and then talked about how daddy has to obey his mama...that God has given us parents to care for us, so we need to obey them.

I always try to not talk in a way that makes him feel guilty...but in a way that shows hope and happiness over God's love for us.

The reason I do this???? I think about how much I NEED God's Word...why would I think that M doesn't? Just because he is little and is a concrete thinker and doesn't have the experience to understand God's truth? God's Word is powerful. God's Word can touch and change M's heart...I can't do that. Even though I always explain verses in kid-friendly terms...I can rest in letting God do His thing with this child He loves. I just want to be obedient to what I feel He is calling ME to do with my child.

These are the verses that have pulled at my heart lately:

So then faith [comes] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. ROMANS 10:17

In Him you also [trusted], after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, EPHESIANS 1:13

and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 2 TIMOTHY 3:15

For the word of God [is] living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. HEBREWS 4:12
All Scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 2TIMOTHY 3:16

dan and rachel said...

tish, these are hard questions and i wish i had an answer. when you figure it out, please let me know! :) i really try not to focus on guilt with my kids. kids lack a lot of impulse control and they are NOT mini-adults, nor can we expect them to be. i try to be gentle and patient, modeling self-control, while still implementing consequences. i do not do it perfectly. as i've said, indi is easy. jude can be easy, but then he goes through stages where he can be more difficult. right when i think i have it all together from a discipline stand-point -- WHAM -- i am humbled and realize i DON'T have it all figured out! :)

Yvonne Crawford said...

Tough stuff. I enjoyed reading through the comments, but I have no insights myself. I've been very tired lately, so I'm doing the best I can at the moment which isn't that great. ;)

Tish said...

@rachel...i think that is just it. in my own efforts i will never model Jesus' gentleness, patience, and self-control the way i would like to...and probably never have it "figured out." but i have found that the more i am in God's Word, the more i do respond to M in a way that better reflects Jesus...because God uses His truth to change my heart which changes my actions. the more that i see the changes in my own heart, the more i am convinced about the power of God's Word to work in M's little heart, too.

Jenna said...

I fall into the category of "ever evolving". I feel like I'm right where I should be as a parent for awhile, and then I need some new strategies, so I pray for guidance and seek out a resource to help me with fresh ideas.

To answer your questions in order: I live my life with the mission field God called me to: my children. We feel our role is to help our children choose Jesus as Lord of their lives, develop a relationship with Him, and want to grow in that relationship so that their lives is an outpouring of God's grace as long as they live and their plan is God's plan for them. That all seemed REALLY big to me, and I wasn't sure how to tackle that- other than the obvious: keeping a daily quiet time with my kids, leading by example, teaching them the importance of being part of a vibrant body of believers, etc.....

I recently came across what parent's should be intentionally teaching their kids as a list of 5 "Faith Skills" that should be deliberately taught to kids in age appropriate ways:
1. Navigating the Bible (survey and locate)
2. Personalize Scripture (Memorize and apply)
3. Dialogue with God (Public and private)
4. Articulate Faith (Share and defend)
5. Worship with your life (praise and give....and I would add serve)

So, I use this list to help me focus on what I should be proactively working on with my kids at their level. Then, I capitalize on "teachable moments".

From my teaching background and training in brain-based learning, I learned that kids cannot learn a lesson if they are in crisis (actually, I learned some of this also in adoptive parent training). So, when I discipline them, I generally just discipline them (and try to do so in a way that glorifies God). However, I may specifically choose a story from the Bible that night that speaks to the "heart issue" that was going on, and then I bring it up as an example, so that the kids can see how the Bible is living and breathing and how it helps us in our daily lives. I feel they hear and learn better that way than if I were to do that immediately following or during their punishment. They're too worked up at that point. Plus, it just goes better when we are ALL out of the heat of the moment. And, often times, it gives me the chance to model asking for forgiveness when I didn't glorify God in my reaction.

As for discipline, I generally give my kids a warning, then take action if they repeat the offense. We use time-out generally, but for out-right defiance or lying, or BIG offenses, we have stepped it up a bit with Sawyer: removing privileges and/or opportunities he was excited about. We try our BEST to make "the punishment fit the crime" or make the consequences logical ones.

Two parenting resources from Christian authors that have shaped our thoughts on parenting: "Making Children' Mind Without Losing Yours" by Kevin Leman and "Grace Based Parenting" by Tim Kimmel (which I am currently reading, and is currently making me feel very convicted. I would say it is the BEST parenting book I've ever read).

Two parenting resources by non-christians which have shaped my parenting and which I would recommend: "Parenting with Dignity" by Mac Bledsoe and "Parenting with Love and Logic".