Parenting Tips

On August 24, 2010, in Children's Ministry (Anchor Bay), by Children's Ministry

Help Children Change Their Hearts

Too often parents focus only on behavior, getting the right actions down, but they don’t address the heart. Jesus criticized the Pharisees, saying that they looked good on the outside but their hearts were still not changed. He said, “First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.”
Focusing on behavior change is not enough. Many parents work hard to help their children look good on the outside. Inadvertently, these parents teach their children “image management” the ability to appear good, clean, and nice. A change of heart is what children really need though.

Unfortunately, you can’t force children to change their hearts. But we can do a lot to motivate them to make the necessary changes. We’ve identified several tools that, when used properly, address the heart. First, use sorrow instead of anger in the discipline process. Parents who misuse this technique often lay a guilt trip on their children. The key is to be genuine. If you, as a parent, look past your anger for a moment you will see that you truly are sad about what your child has done because you know the long-term consequences of such behavior. Reflect it in a gentle way. It’s amazing to see how children will respond.

Another way to influence a child’s heart is to use the scriptures. The Bible has an amazing quality, the ability to pierce through to the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Don’t use the Bible in a harsh way. Instead reveal what the Bible has to say about being kind or respectful or obedient. There’s a lot of wisdom and conviction that comes through the scriptures.

Be sure to talk about the heart during times of correction. “I can see you’re angry because I said no, I’d like you to take a break for a bit and settle your heart down and when you’re ready, come back and we’ll talk about it.” It will take work and a child may need some long times to settle down at first, but a change of heart is worth it in the end. Resolve the tension by having a Positive Conclusion together. Talk about what went wrong and why it was wrong. Address heart issues, not just behavior and help children see things from a deeper perspective.

You may think of some other ideas but whatever you do, don’t rely on simple behavior modification techniques. They don’t go deep enough and often don’t address the real issues.

Help Children Change Their Hearts

Too often parents focus only on behavior, getting the right actions down, but they don’t address the heart. Jesus criticized the Pharisees, saying that they looked good on the outside but their hearts were still not changed. He said, “First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.”
Focusing on behavior change is not enough. Many parents work hard to help their children look good on the outside. Inadvertently, these parents teach their children “image management” the ability to appear good, clean, and nice. A change of heart is what children really need though.

Unfortunately, you can’t force children to change their hearts. But we can do a lot to motivate them to make the necessary changes. We’ve identified several tools that, when used properly, address the heart. First, use sorrow instead of anger in the discipline process. Parents who misuse this technique often lay a guilt trip on their children. The key is to be genuine. If you, as a parent, look past your anger for a moment you will see that you truly are sad about what your child has done because you know the long-term consequences of such behavior. Reflect it in a gentle way. It’s amazing to see how children will respond.

Another way to influence a child’s heart is to use the scriptures. The Bible has an amazing quality, the ability to pierce through to the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Don’t use the Bible in a harsh way. Instead reveal what the Bible has to say about being kind or respectful or obedient. There’s a lot of wisdom and conviction that comes through the scriptures.

Be sure to talk about the heart during times of correction. “I can see you’re angry because I said no, I’d like you to take a break for a bit and settle your heart down and when you’re ready, come back and we’ll talk about it.” It will take work and a child may need some long times to settle down at first, but a change of heart is worth it in the end. Resolve the tension by having a Positive Conclusion together. Talk about what went wrong and why it was wrong. Address heart issues, not just behavior and help children see things from a deeper perspective.

You may think of some other ideas but whatever you do, don’t rely on simple behavior modification techniques. They don’t go deep enough and often don’t address the real issues.

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The Lord looks at the Heart

On April 6, 2009, in Children's Ministry (Anchor Bay), by Children's Ministry

Parenting Insight You Can Use Now
Many parents use a simple behavior modification approach to raise their children. “If you get your homework done, then you can go out and play.” “If you clean your room, then you can watch a video.”

Unfortunately children trained this way often develop a “What’s in it for me?” mentality. “If I don’t get something out of it, why should I obey?”

God is concerned with more than behavior. He’s interested in the heart. The heart contains motivations, emotions, convictions, and values. A heart-based approach to parenting looks deeper. Parents still require children to finish their homework and clean up their rooms but it’s the inner motivation and character that they’re addressing.

A heart-based approach shares values and reasons behind rules. It requires more dialogue, helping children understand how their hearts are resistant and need to develop cooperation. A heart-based approach is firm but also relational. It’s a mindset on the part of parents that looks for heart moments that then bring about significant change.

As you consider your children, remember the words that God said to Samuel, “Man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks on the heart.”

This concept is explained more fully of the book, Parenting is Heart Work, by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.

The Funny Side of Parenting

One mom shared this story.

I was driving with the kids today and Joey asked me when the “Happy Sunday” service was.

I had to think for a minute what he was talking about, but then I realized he was referring to Good Friday. I explained to him the difference, but I think the name is going to stick.

From now on in our home, Easter Sunday will affectionately be called “Happy Sunday.” At least for the next few years.

Parenting Insight You Can Use Now
Many parents use a simple behavior modification approach to raise their children. “If you get your homework done, then you can go out and play.” “If you clean your room, then you can watch a video.”

Unfortunately children trained this way often develop a “What’s in it for me?” mentality. “If I don’t get something out of it, why should I obey?”

God is concerned with more than behavior. He’s interested in the heart. The heart contains motivations, emotions, convictions, and values. A heart-based approach to parenting looks deeper. Parents still require children to finish their homework and clean up their rooms but it’s the inner motivation and character that they’re addressing.

A heart-based approach shares values and reasons behind rules. It requires more dialogue, helping children understand how their hearts are resistant and need to develop cooperation. A heart-based approach is firm but also relational. It’s a mindset on the part of parents that looks for heart moments that then bring about significant change.

As you consider your children, remember the words that God said to Samuel, “Man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks on the heart.”

This concept is explained more fully of the book, Parenting is Heart Work, by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.

The Funny Side of Parenting

One mom shared this story.

I was driving with the kids today and Joey asked me when the “Happy Sunday” service was.

I had to think for a minute what he was talking about, but then I realized he was referring to Good Friday. I explained to him the difference, but I think the name is going to stick.

From now on in our home, Easter Sunday will affectionately be called “Happy Sunday.” At least for the next few years.

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Heart Change from the Inside….Out

On January 12, 2009, in Children's Ministry (Anchor Bay), by Children's Ministry

Parenting Tip

January 12, 2009

Not Just Behavior Change

Joey’s preschool teacher told him to sit down. He said, “No.” The teacher, not wanting to be outdone, leaned over Joey and said sternly, “You sit down!” Joey sat down, looked up at the teacher, and replied, “I’m sitting on the outside, but I’m standing on the inside.”

Too many children are like Joey, changing their behavior in response to discipline but continuing to disobey in their hearts. As parents we must look for ways to help children make lasting changes, not simply adjust their behavior to get by. How do we do it?

First, we must pray. God is the one who ultimately changes hearts. We can force behavior change but we can’t force a change of heart. Secondly, we want to talk about character and genuine heart change with our children to show them that we too are more interested in what’s going on inside.

Then we look for strategic ways to make progress. It may be reflecting sorrow instead of anger in the correction process or requiring that a child sit for a while to think about an offense before returning. We may choose a consequence that helps a child realize that the present problem is a serious one and that we aren’t going to allow it to go unchecked.

Whatever you do, talk about the heart and the importance of changing on a deeper level. You will help your children make significant changes. After all we don’t want to be content with looking good on the outside. It’s the internal change that is most important.

This parenting tip is taken from the book, Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes, In You and Your Kids by Dr Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller RN, BSN.

Parenting Tip

January 12, 2009

Not Just Behavior Change

Joey’s preschool teacher told him to sit down. He said, “No.” The teacher, not wanting to be outdone, leaned over Joey and said sternly, “You sit down!” Joey sat down, looked up at the teacher, and replied, “I’m sitting on the outside, but I’m standing on the inside.”

Too many children are like Joey, changing their behavior in response to discipline but continuing to disobey in their hearts. As parents we must look for ways to help children make lasting changes, not simply adjust their behavior to get by. How do we do it?

First, we must pray. God is the one who ultimately changes hearts. We can force behavior change but we can’t force a change of heart. Secondly, we want to talk about character and genuine heart change with our children to show them that we too are more interested in what’s going on inside.

Then we look for strategic ways to make progress. It may be reflecting sorrow instead of anger in the correction process or requiring that a child sit for a while to think about an offense before returning. We may choose a consequence that helps a child realize that the present problem is a serious one and that we aren’t going to allow it to go unchecked.

Whatever you do, talk about the heart and the importance of changing on a deeper level. You will help your children make significant changes. After all we don’t want to be content with looking good on the outside. It’s the internal change that is most important.

This parenting tip is taken from the book, Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes, In You and Your Kids by Dr Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller RN, BSN.

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