"Jennifer, I said to pick up your toys" said mom.
"I will when I am done with my game" said Jennifer
"Jennifer you have three seconds to turn off that game and get your toys cleaned up!"
"Mom you are not fair!!! I just want to finish my game!!"
"That's it! (in a very loud voice) You are grounded young lady!"
"Fine" said Jennifer (who never did pick up her toys)
Does this scenario sound familiar to you? Is getting your children to obey a constant battle? I know that I have had my share of wars with my kids. I didn't know how to make them listen to me unless I was screaming at the top of my lungs. They didn't take me seriously until my tone was so angry that it made them obey out of fear not respect. This mom was at her whits end by the end of every day because I didn't know how to correct my children correctly. I didn't understand that my reaction to their disobedience was just making things worse for them and for me.
As an older mom now, I can look back and see where I went wrong. I can see where my discipline techniques were way off track. Being out of control myself only taught my children how to act and react with no self control as well. It was a downward spiral each and every day. We were angry with each other. We didn't communicate. We just coexisted. No real relationships were established until my older three kids were much older. Even then it was strained due to the fact I was such a lousy mom when they were little. We are still working through things and they are three great friends who I love very much. I know that God is a God of restoration and He is working in our lives daily.
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline
and instruction of the Lord. ~ Ephesians 6:4
This has become our parenting verse. We still have our younger 3 at home and OH MY! what a peaceful home we have. The only yelling that takes place is when one of us is clear upstairs needing someone from the downstairs. Mom and dad have a more laid back, and Biblical approach to parenting. We have learned the best way to curb bad behavior is to consistently teach good behavior. They are not perfect and we are not perfect, but each day we are learning together to be godly men and women who want to glorify God in all we do and say.
There are so many wonderful scriptures that can help us teach godly character qualities. We just need to search the scriptures together as a family, learn ways to implement them in our daily lives, and allow God to lead us as we live our lives.
I won't lie and say this has been an easy transition. As a matter of fact it has been like climbing a mountain. There are days we hit a rough patch and we have to dig our heels in deeper in order to keep going forward. Our youngest son is our biggest obstacle. He is a strong willed young man, and it would be very easy for us to fall back into our bad habits of just yelling and screaming at him, but THANK GOD we have learned and God has changed us enough at this point we can STOP ourselves before we do lose control. Each day we pray that we can continue to grow as parents and we can keep working to be the godly examples they need.
So how do we correct our children? We do it with love, patience, and gentleness. I bet your thinking....OH YEA RIGHT LADY!? You don't know my kid. You're right, I don't know your kids, but YOU DO!!!! You know their hearts. You know where you are lacking in your skills. You know where you may fail in training. You can pray and ask God to show you how to become the parent your child needs. You can seek God's wisdom in your daily parenting endeavors. You can do this!!!! I know you can. If I can.... ANYONE can!
How can I pray for you? If you have any specific requests, please feel free to comment here or send me a private message on our Facebook page. The link is on the right of this blog page.
For more information on Self-Control: Let's Talk About Self-Control