I want to take a new approach to my parenting skills. After my husband and I watched the movie Courageous, I had a yearning inside of me to develop a deeper presence in my boys’ lives.
Every smile, twinkle and hug is precious to me. Moments I never want to miss and recollection of the memories have been filling the pages of my journal. A voice from above speaking to me through the tear-stained pages.
A sermon that I heard a while back at Grace in Cranberry continues to be perfect timing on God’s part. Parenting. In a different way. Month after month I find myself watching the video and reading my notes from the sermon to continue to work on my parenting skills.
Here is what I got from the service and I hope it helps you look at your children in a new way or reassure you on your own parenting practices.
“Be different because normal isn’t working”
~ Pastor Matt
We have but one perfect father. We should treat our children the way God treats us.
“Our Father in heaven hallowed be your name” ~Luke 11:2
Learn to Understand Our Kids
God knows us inside and out – how much do we know and understand about our children. Thinking back to when I was a teenager I know I said to my mother countless times that she didn’t get me. Being a mother now I know that it was just typical teenager stuff that I was yelling at my own mother all those years ago. With my own children I need to take the time and make the effort to truly understand my children. To find what makes them tick and to know more then just their favorite colors and foods. Why do they think the way they do? What is their reasoning and how do I help them come to good decisions on their own?
Word to Read
- Psalm 103:13
- Psalm 139:13-16
To Do: Take time to invest in your child daily
Learn to Accept Our Kids
You’d think this is a no brainer – you know a no strings attached just the way they are type deal. But how often do we put unwritten stipulations on our love and acceptance. It’s easy to say “That’s my boy!” when he scores a touchdown but what happens when he’s the kid that scored a touchdown for the wrong team. Where are we in that moment?
Word to Read
- Romans 15:7
To Do: Take time to give high-fives when our child is having a low moment
Learn to Discipline Our Kids
Discipline is missing in our society today. It’s missing from even the best intention families and often called upon in the wrong sense in ‘abusive’ families. When we neglect discipline we are not showing our children that we love them.
The Lord disciplines those he loves. ~ Hebrews 12:6 and Proverbs 3:12
The purpose of discipline is to promote growth. Punishment promotes fear and discipline gives security. But how do we know the difference? If that moment that split second as we begin our discipline do our children shield themselves do they cower away – that is not discipline it’s punishment.
4 Steps to Godly Discipline
- Discipline Calmly: Don’t flip out in the moment. Take a second to count to ten gather your thoughts and speak in a calm “inside” voice. [Proverbs 29:11]
- Discipline Quickly: Deal with it when it happens especially with younger children. Saving it for when your spouse gets home doesn’t help the situation and your child is not going to remember their wrong doing 8 hours later.
- Discipline Consistently: If your child gets in trouble for dumping all the soap out onto the carpet have the same consequences if it happens again. If you are in a two parent home take time to speak with your spouse and decide on what the consequences are and their severity. If the kids are grounded from certain items make sure your spouse knows so there is no trickery going on. [Psalm 145:17]
- Discipline Sparingly: We need to pick our battles and remember that kids are kids. We don’t need to discipline kids for being kids. Instead we need to know when to step in and when to step back. If there is a pattern – say kids getting into things they shouldn’t save yourself the oxygen and just remove the items. [Colossians 3:21]
Word to Read
- Proverbs 13:24
- Proverbs 19:18
- 1 John 4:18
- Proverbs 29:11
- Psalm 145:17
- Colossians 3:21
To Do: Take time to discuss discipline strategies with you and your spouse; getting on the same page is step one
Learn to Express Love to Our Kids
As a mother we often don’t think about this one as it tends to be a given with hugs, kisses, fixing boo-boos and more. However, as our children get older and no longer ‘need’ mommy do we still make sure to let our kids – especially teenagers – know that we love them are are there for them no matter what?
The random hug and ‘I love you’ goes a long way not just when our children do it to us but when we give our child that affection for no reason at all.
We need to build our children up through the way we talk regardless of the situation praise needs to be present.
- Did you know that the average dad talks to their children [individually] just two minutes a day. Yes – 2 Minutes. On the flip side an average child watches two hours of television daily. So where are they getting their morals and human connection from?
Word to Read
- 1 John 3:1
To Do: It is never too late to love your kids and to be a parent who cares. Forget the past and live in the now moment.
Different: The Sermon via Video
Do you see yourself in some of the examples given?
Image credit: Cathy Yeulet