Well...here I am again. It seems like it has been a long time since I have written anything. It's not that I didn't have anything to say; but more like I was working on a testimony :o) Still am.
I wrote a post a while back about trying to juggle...well even as I wrote that post I still was doing my best to maintain everything.
Recently we went out of town for a week and left our children at home with their grandparents. Were we ever in for a surprise. I know that my children are just children; but it seems like the Lord has been magnifying some things for me that are developing in their character. I feel like He gave us an object lesson so that we can re-evaluate our parenting strategy. I know that our parents may dispute this; but I was shocked at the way that our children treated them. They were down right disrespectful at times. Grant it my children are only 2 and almost 4; but I can see patterns that are developing in them that if we don't start working on, they will shape their very character.
As I commented on another friends blog I don't want my children to grow up and have no respect for authority.
Monday a week ago was our first day back with our children and I tell you what...they tested and pushed and then did it some more. This made for a very difficult week. We both felt like we were losing a battle with them.
Sunday night as we drove home from a day at church and dinner with friends I started to talk to Phillip about the things we had been observing. That day had been especially eye opening. It seemed that our eldest daughter ignored everything we said or else argued with us consistently every time we told her to do something. As we were heading to dinner that night she proceeded to explain to us how that we were NOT her boss. I don't have to tell you that I had to count to 10 (a couple of times) before I could respond. As we talked I told Phillip that I wasn't sure what to do about it. I felt like she had absolutely no respect for our authority; and that I was worried if we didn't do something it would only get worse.
By the time we arrived at home I felt like the Lord had given us some direction. Here is a little of what we will be working on.
Failure: We both get tired of telling them the same things over and over and over. Sometimes it feels like 100 times a day on one thing. So what do we do...sometimes we just let it slide so we don't have to deal with it.
Result: We have a child who knows that one if she pushes us enough we will give in and two that if we don't give in this time she can ask again and we will most likely give in the next time. She learns that what we say doesn't really matter.
Solution: Stop being lazy and go to work. We are the parents and nobody ever said it would be easy or fun all the time; but none the less IT IS OUR JOB!! We chose to have these children now it's up to us to accept our responsibility and do it right. We are not just raising people; but we are trying to raise Godly children that the Lord can use in His kingdom.
2) TOO MANY CHANCES:
Failure: "Go do _____________!!!" "Did you hear me?" "So and so, GO do ____________________!!!" "If you don't do ____________, you're going to get in trouble." This can go on and on and on.
Result: We now have a child who knows how to stall for time. She knows that if she waits us out we will most likely eventually give up. Later down the road, we have a teenager that when told to do something just stares at us with a blank look on her face or worse yet walks off and ignores what we or any other authority (youth leader, pastor, elder in the church, police, teachers, etc...) has said. Later on the possibility is that we have an adult who refuses council or instruction from anyone...even the Lord. Why should they care it's been "THEIR" way all their life. They don't believe in consequences because there were never any there. Sobering!!
Solution: Teach them that every act of disobedience or disrespect has a consequence; and then act on that consequence as soon as the offense is committed. This also ties right in with your consistency. We have to follow through or our consequences are just empty threats. I know this is so exhausting at times; but if we fail to do our job right now we will be whining about it later when our children our too old to be taught and we have lost complete control.
Lord help us.
I've added some links to some things I am going to start trying along with the two mentioned above.
They are a chore chart and a discipline chart. Also, there is an idea I saw somewhere for something that can be used for older children. It's called a consequence jar. In it are things that no one likes to do like cleaning baseboards, cleaning the toilet, shining the silverware, pulling weeds...etc... To me it sounded like a really neat idea. It shows them that they are ultimately in control of whether not they behave; and that there WILL be a consequence for every offense even if they are too big to spank . If they commit an offense then they must go and pick their own consequence. That's just a little food for thought. I may even try this on my oldest with things that she can do. So far I am in search of the thing that works for her.
Also, if you have any suggestions or comments on this subject I would greatly appreciate it. I am trying to find the Lord's guidance for us in this area right now and welcome any heavenly inspired advice :o)
Hope the following links are useful to you.