Friday, October 7, 2011

Discipling Children God's way

Becoming A Mom from His Own Heart

Discipline has been something I have struggled with greatly. I admit with a heavy heart that I fail miserably in this area so often. My greatest desire for my children is that the grow in the admonition of the Lord, love Him with their whole hearts and obey His commands in their life.

Not too much to ask, right? (in my best sarcastic voice)

Let me start with the disclaimer of: my children really are good kids. They are kind, loving, sweet and they serve with big hearts …. BUT, they are children first and foremost. And what do we as parents learn quickly?

They are not only all of those wonderful things I listed above, but they are selfish, mean, cruel, loud, disrespectful at times, and most importantly, SINFUL. They are not as someone would tend to think, born good. They are innately sinful, bad from the moment they are conceived. Not because of anything they have ever “done” wrong, but because we as humans are innately bad since the moment that Adam and Eve sinned against God. Sin entered the world and thus entered our children. And because of sin they will be disobedient to God’s words and His commands just as we as their parents so often are.

We as parents, and I could be totally alone on this, don’t remember this when our children are disobedient. If you’re like me, you’ve thought to yourself, “Why can’t you just listen? Why are you so disrespectful? Why are you being so mean to your sibling?” All of these are completely valid questions, and ones I find myself asking on a daily basis.

I’m sure I’m not the only one asking these questions, and as many times as we ask ourselves these questions, how many more times do you think He is asking Himself these same things about us? I’m sure much more often than we would ever like to admit. But, does He ever scream at us and lose his temper as I do so often with my little blessings? No, He extends grace and mercy, love and affection. He gives us chance after chance after chance to get it right, follow Him and step onto the path that He has set forth for us.

I want to do this with my own children. I want to extend the grace and love that He richly and freely gives me each and every day. So I now find myself asking, what are my children doing that I am so upset about? What is it that I wish they would not do and how can we come to a peaceful resolution about it?

First there are CHORES: Jordon is the only one we have officially assigned “chores” to and he only has 2; take the compost out and vacuum the living room rug 1x a day.

Now, we have 6 people in our house, 4 of which are 8 and under. The toys and mess and clothes and clutter build up on a minute by minute basis. I find myself in screaming battles with the kids to put their toys away, don’t get crumbs all over the wood floor because the ants are attracted to them, put your dirty clothes in the hamper. The screaming makes me so upset, gets them in tears and accomplishes nothing. So, what can we do about this?

CHORE CHART: And this doesn’t mean just Jordon. Every child, other than the baby who does nothing independently obviously, should learn responsibility. Children need to learn to take responsibility for a home, especially the girls. They need to learn to sweep, vacuum, dust, take the trash out, put shoes away so on and so forth. I found myself doing everything in the house and rationalizing it as “I’m the mom, isn’t that what I’m supposed to do?” The truth—no, it’s not. I am the mom which means I have the God given task of teaching my children, helping them grow closer to our Lord while becoming obedient, respectful adults. How can I expect them to become this when I am doing everything for them?

I cannot. I must let go of the control, the mindset of “I’d rather have it done my way then have to redo it because it was done wrong. How can they do it “wrong” if they are attempting to do it in the first place? Does God tell us we are wrong when we are trying to do what He has asked of us? NO. He may open ours eyes to the right way to do it, but He never gets upset when we do something with a true an sincere heart. This is what I want for my children. This is what I hope the chore chart will help accomplish. And it’s not just a list of chores they must complete. There is a rewards system that goes with it. My fabulous mother and sister bought Jordon one of those “claw” games like you see in arcades for his birthday. The children will have certain chores in which they will earn “tickets” for; the tickets can be redeemed for so many chances in the claw, marbles (for Jordon who wants to collect marbles) or actual money. We are quite excited about the rewards. God blesses us and rewards us for our obedience which makes it easier to obey when we experience the blessing. This is the feeling I want them to experience.

Now for the discipline: We have created a discipline chart that explains exactly what is expected of them such as speaking kindly to siblings and parents, no arguing, no complaining, staying in bed once put there, not hitting, no potty talk (which thankful we have never experienced and truthfully shouldn’t considering we don’t use potty talk, but it’s a good thing to implement anyways), how to behave during school, how to behave in restaurants and stores and finally being respectful. They will have a disciplinary action listed as well as a motivator (such as if they do not do what they were asked to do or stop doing what they were asked to stop doing they will have something like the DS or Wii taken away). Each discipline will also have a scripture verse to explain why what they have done is a sin and how it is against God's commands. That is the most important lesson we can ever teach them; that when they disobey they are separating themselves from God and that is where the problem lies. The lists of rules, scripture and motivators will be posted on the wall where they can read them.

So, this is a start to our new system. It will be implemented on Monday morning; they will receive an explanation as to what is expected on Sunday evening. I will keep you all updated on its success :)


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