Parenting has been a wild ride for me. I love having the ability and responsibility to mold my children into true followers of God. Sometimes, the burden can feel a bit overwhelming though and I choose the easy way out in situations where I am running on empty. So, I decided to set out and get some motivation on how I could shape my children with God in mind. They where getting a bit sassy and I know it was because I was getting confused on how I should discipline them.
My daughter threw me for a loop. She is a bit more strong willed than my son and it brings me much aggravation sometimes. Can anyone relate? I started praying extra. Mainly for God to give me strength. But I felt in my Spirit that I just needed to redirect my kids in a more kind and nurturing way. I wanted to allow them to make the decision to forgive, or give something they took back – willingly. Thank God for prompting me. I was not liking this whole frustrated parent thing.
After some research, I came across a Christian based parenting handbook and am so excited to share with you a few things the Lord has revealed to my heart. I really wanted to work on some key things for my family. Since my husband and I are strongly considering homeschooling our kiddos, I wanted to see if I was capable of helping my family get through this challenge.
My Focus Points:
- Each child is unique, and the same tools don’t work with every one.
- Ideas are easy. Implementing is hard, because that’s where things get complicated.
- Avoid reactive parenting. I needed to be more strategic in my approach.
- Remember and trust that God is the one who changes hearts. Both mine and my child’s.
- The heart is a wrestling place where decisions are made. Reactions or outburst from my kiddos are heart issues.
- Developing a strong, biblical, parenting philosophy requires me to embrace a more comprehensive approach that focuses on the heart.
- I needed to build more internal motivation and stop using external motivations. “You you do what I say, I will give you what you want” needed to be replaced.
- Use sorrow instead of anger in the discipline process.
- Help my kids change by emphasizing on the heart during times of correction.
- Help my children practice what is right, not just receiving correction for doing something wrong.
- Get into the habit of practicing admiration (acknowledging who the person is becoming) alongside thanking my kids for doing good.
- Stop nagging my children. I think it hurts me more!
Allowing the Change
These are all areas discussed in this book.
I have been praying over my kids constantly, trying to implement little things here and there. Within days of just changing my heart, I began to see my children’s attitudes change as well. I began praying with them after they did something I was not happy with. I actually enjoyed acting very sad when they did something wrong instead of becoming more frustrated. My son’s face was priceless as well! You could tell he sensed I was very sad, and he felt bad too. I encourage you to try it!
For example, my son always throws his bike on my flowers. So, when he did it yet again, I took a broken flower over to him and said, “This was one of my favorite flowers and you broke it because you laid your bike on it. I am so soo sad.”
My son then began to tell me it was okay (haha!). After a few moments he said, “I’m sorry mom”. And from there it opened the door for me to explain to him why I would like him to park his bike (but really his motorcycle) somewhere else. And he has not put his bike in my flowers since!
One thing I love about being a parent is the challenge to help my kids grow and learn. I love a suggestion this book gave about learning some key principles. I wrote these out on individual papers with the definition below. We have started going over them with together in fun ways!
- Obedience – doing what someone says, right away, without being reminded.
- Honor – treating people special, doing more of what is expected.
- Patience – waiting with a happy heart (my favorite to say! We sing it.)
- Gratefulness – being thankful for the things you have.
One of the benefits of the Christian life is that the Holy Spirit comes into your life and produces fruit. Trust in Him and change will come. I love this verse from Galatians!
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
These are not just qualities for our kids. Parents need them as well. As your kiddos start to grow and demonstrate godly character, be sure to affirm it. I am so excited to share more of what I learn from this handbook with you all! Go snag a copy of your own!
I would love to hear all of your methods to parenting with godly approach!