We tend to look at someone with a slender, athletic build and think, “They must be really disciplined.” We also know we’re called to discipline our children, so what does discipline really mean anyway?! When we discipline our children we apply appropriate consequences now in a way that helps a child choose correctly in the future. How is this different that punishment? Punishment is repaying someone for something they’ve done wrong. The root of punishment is retribution. This is the opposite of discipline. The root of discipline is love.
In Hebrews 12 we get a beautiful glimpse at how God disciplines us. God’s discipline to us is proof that He loves us. It’s the same with our children. We discipline them because we love them. Take a moment to read Hebrews 12:1-13 now.
So what does disciplining with honor look like? Here are a few practical tools to assure you and I are disciplining with honor:
- Set realistic expectations. Know your children well to know what he/she is capable of. Push them to be the best them.
- Never threaten. Take a moment to think through consequences before you throw them out there. Only give a consequence that you KNOW you can stand behind.
- Don’t discipline in anger. It’s OK to send your child to their room and tell them you need to calm down (or send yourself to your room) before you speak with them regarding their misbehavior.
- Be consistent. Don’t dismiss misbehavior one day and punish it the next.
- Don’t be afraid of consequences. We live in a world with rules and consequences. For every action there is a consequence. Real discipline teaches this union.
- Set limits. Discipline and boundaries illustrate love and safety to our children. Don’t be a pushover parent.
- Don’t get caught in the cycle of using words to correct behavior. Children are not miniature adults who understand the heart behind what we do. Employ logical consequences.
Discipline is basically short-term pain for long term gain. It’s not easy to discipline. In fact it takes personal discipline to discipline our children. God has uniquely created our children, and our desire should be to help them become the person God intends. We do that when we discipline with honor!
Posted on May 25, 2017 11:56 AM
Disciplining our children is probably THE most difficult aspect of parenting. It requires so much patience and consistency on our part that it can be totally draining. Let’s admit it there are times that we all take a deep breath and wonder if we’re really doing a good job at this parenting thing.
We all realize that we need to discipline our children, and we all do that differently because our children are different. But in the end we all have the same goal, we want our children to honor and respect us. So how do we discipline our kids in a way that leads them to have honor and respect for us? Check out this video post about teaching honor through discipline.
Take some time to think through the questions you were asked, and look forward to the next email where we’ll discuss some practical tools for making sure your disciplining is getting you the results you want.
Posted on May 15, 2017 8:52 AM
Technology is everywhere! It is neither good nor bad, it’s what we make of it. Most kids today have some sort of mobile device. We want to take some time to figure out how we build boundaries around our child’s use of mobile devices.
Initially we need to address the real question: Do children need boundaries with technology? There are tons of bad things that COULD happen as your child uses his/her mobile device and setting boundaries on those will help protect them. BOUNDARIES GIVE PROTECTION.
In Exodus 16 we read about the Israelites in the wilderness. They’re starving and begin to complain. God miraculously provides manna and quail for them WITH some boundaries. The instructions are that every person is to collect ONLY what they need FOR THAT DAY. However, there are people that decide they want to collect enough for tomorrow too, and the extra gets infested with maggots!
Yes, our kids need boundaries with their mobile devices. We can help provide boundaries a few ways:
- Limit time. Many apps and settings will actually monitor your child’s amount of time on their mobile device. Have your child turn in their device at a certain time every evening.
- Limit content. Unlimited access to Netflix and YouTube greatly increase your child’s chance of stumbling upon inappropriate content. Both of these apps have safeguards built in that can be set on your child’s mobile device. Surfing the internet via mobile device is a disaster waiting to happen. Take all internet surfing capability OFF of the mobile device OR give them a SAFE browser such as McGruff Safeguard Browser, K9 Protection Browser or AVG Family Safety.
- Limit apps. BE SMART about apps, they are not all OK. Many parents allow children to have apps like snap chat-which allows easy access to nude pictures, and Kik Messenger-an anonymous texting app. Know the app your child is requesting. You can check out reviews of apps for kids at commonsensemedia.org and iparent.tv.
The sex talk used to be the awkward talk that parents had to have, and, YES, you still need to have that one. But in today’s society we must have talk with our children about the risks associated with technology. They should know WHY boundaries exist. There are tons of resources out there that provide boundaries for kids’ mobile devices, so take some time to do a little research, and set your child up for technological success!
Posted on May 01, 2017 3:45 PM
Maybe it was a Super Nintendo, Oregon Trail on the school computer, or immersing yourself in episodes of Full House, but our exposure to technology was vastly different from what our children experience. They’re inundated with technology EVERYWHERE they turn. They even have the ability to carry their technology around with them inside their pocket!
Does that mean we just hand them an Ipod, unlimited Netflix and YouTube access, and an unmonitored TV and allow them to handle technology however they deem fit? This month we want to help you as a parent understand the pros and cons of technology and how to manage it in a way that sets your child up for success.
How do we manage screen time such as TV, movies, video games, etc. with our child, and WHY should we put parameters around their use of technology anyway? This month’s video is going to tackle these questions, plus more from the home side (TV, movies, video games, etc.).
The second email for this month will include ideas for assuring your child’s safety with technology with mobile devices. Be looking for that in your inbox soon!
Posted on April 13, 2017 4:55 PM
Reoccurring bad dreams, bellyaches before school, anxiety before a new event, and fear of the uncontrollable are some of the ways our kids are dealing with fear. Even if their fear seems a bit illegitimate to us, you can guarantee it’s very REAL to them. So, instead of glossing over their fear, or telling them, “Just don’t worry about it,” we want to walk you through the best way to walk your child through fear, anxiety, and worry.
The best way to deal with fear is to OVERCOME it. Many of the emotions God has given us are from Him. However, fear is NOT one of those. 2 Timothy 1:7 clearly tells us God has NOT given us a spirit of fear. So instead of telling our kiddos, don’t be afraid, here are some great tools for helping them overcome fear:
- Acknowledge the fear. Even if their fear seems silly to you, it’s real to them.
- Respond to your child’s fear with confidence. Memorize 2 Timothy 1:7. Say it over and over again until you and your child believe it. Children sense anxiety, so if you know they’re feeding off your fears, get yours in check first.
- Replace the “stinkin’ thinkin’” with good thoughts. Don’t dwell on the fear (if it’s a bad dream, don’t ask them to describe the dream), this just fuels that anxiety. It’s also not enough to tell them to STOP worrying. They need to REPLACE those thoughts with new ones. So help them figure out what to think about. Replace worry with a verse like the one in 2 Timothy OR Isaiah 41:10.
- Help the bad dream pass by thinking of a great vacation memory.
- For a child safety is developed through structure. Create routine for your family. Make sure it includes down time for great conversation, especially at night time.
1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love.”
One of the biggest ways to help kids deal with fear is to create security. Tell them often how much they are loved by you and by God. Perfect love casts out fear. Dwell on the perfect love of God as you help your child understand he/she was NOT created to fear!
Posted on March 30, 2017 12:01 PM
We all want our children to live life fully. One of the joys of childhood is the innocence that allows them to live with reckless abandon. As our children get a little older they begin to see the “real world.” Accompanying that can be some real fears that take hold in their lives.
How do we as parents help them confront fears, deal with them, and move past them so that they don’t control our child’s mind? Take a look at this video to see an overview of helping your child deal with fear.
In a couple weeks we’ll be sending out the second installment of this online parenting class where we’ll help you know step by step how to walk your child through conquering fears.
Posted on March 15, 2017 1:56 PM
As you read the first email and watched the video about selfishness, I’m sure you found yourself saying, “YEP, my child can definitely be selfish!” Here’s the reality-WE ALL ARE! Each of us looks for ways to get what we want out of life. Yeah, we say it’s not about us, but, in reality, most of us live like it is!
The Israelites thousands of years ago did this same thing after being freed from slavery. They found themselves in the desert asking for more; more food, more water, more leadership.
Here’s the problem the Israelites found themselves in, and one we need to take heed of when it comes to parenting: The Israelites did NOT keep the end in mind! God was delivering them to the promised land for goodness sake, but all they could focus on was not having what they wanted in the present.
Sound familiar! Our kids can’t focus on the end because developmentally they can’t think that far ahead. But WE can. As parents we can keep the end in mind and make choices accordingly! Do we want our children to grow up to be selfless or selfish, generous or greedy? When we parent with the end in mind it helps us make better decisions in the moment.
Ultimately, we want our children to be completely satisfied in Jesus. Hebrews 13:5:
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.
So, when your kiddo asks for that next thing, whatever it may be big or small, let’s ask this question to them:
“Does this thing I desire help me become the person God has created me to be?”
This question helps us to keep the end in mind. And isn’t that the end goal, to help our children become the person God has created them to be?
Posted on February 28, 2017 1:32 PM