Parenting Tip

On October 20, 2010, in Children's Ministry (Anchor Bay), by Children's Ministry

Parents who only focus on behavior change are devastated when their children reveal unresolved issues of the heart as they grow older.  The child who steals the family car, the unmarried girl who gets pregnant, or the teenage boy who starts using drugs have one thing in common: a heart problem that’s developed over a long period of time.

The heart consists of thoughts, intentions, motivations, desires, and fantasies.  Children play out foolishness in their heart long before it comes out in their actions.  Many parents discipline with a two-step process.  First, they see wrong behavior and second, they use a number of techniques to get their child to do what’s right.  Behavior is changed, but the heart isn’t addressed.  A better discipline process requires two more steps, making four altogether.

First, identify the wrong behavior.  For example, your daughter begins to complain when you ask her to help with the dishes.  Second, identify the dishonoring heart issue.  Maybe she has a problem with anger or doesn’t handle instructions well.  Third, identify the honoring heart issue needed.  She should develop flexibility, giving a few minutes to be helpful.  Then, fourth, the right behavior grows out of the honoring heart issue.  She could help with the dishes without complaining, or respectfully discuss an alternative.  With these four steps, instead of two, you can address what’s going on below the surface-a more complete discipline that teaches children about their hearts.

Giving a consequence isn’t the end of the parent’s responsibility.  Sometimes a consequence just gets the child’s attention, allowing the parent then to address deeper heart-related issues.  Talk about the underlying motivations and the deeper issues.  Helping children change their hearts is harder, but that’s where the lasting change takes place.

Parents who only focus on behavior change are devastated when their children reveal unresolved issues of the heart as they grow older.  The child who steals the family car, the unmarried girl who gets pregnant, or the teenage boy who starts using drugs have one thing in common: a heart problem that’s developed over a long period of time.

The heart consists of thoughts, intentions, motivations, desires, and fantasies.  Children play out foolishness in their heart long before it comes out in their actions.  Many parents discipline with a two-step process.  First, they see wrong behavior and second, they use a number of techniques to get their child to do what’s right.  Behavior is changed, but the heart isn’t addressed.  A better discipline process requires two more steps, making four altogether.

First, identify the wrong behavior.  For example, your daughter begins to complain when you ask her to help with the dishes.  Second, identify the dishonoring heart issue.  Maybe she has a problem with anger or doesn’t handle instructions well.  Third, identify the honoring heart issue needed.  She should develop flexibility, giving a few minutes to be helpful.  Then, fourth, the right behavior grows out of the honoring heart issue.  She could help with the dishes without complaining, or respectfully discuss an alternative.  With these four steps, instead of two, you can address what’s going on below the surface-a more complete discipline that teaches children about their hearts.

Giving a consequence isn’t the end of the parent’s responsibility.  Sometimes a consequence just gets the child’s attention, allowing the parent then to address deeper heart-related issues.  Talk about the underlying motivations and the deeper issues.  Helping children change their hearts is harder, but that’s where the lasting change takes place.

Parenting Tip

On October 5, 2010, in Children's Ministry (Anchor Bay), by Children's Ministry

A Clear Warning

One of the tools of discipline is a clear warning.  It can actually be a teaching tool because it helps children know how to anticipate consequences of their actions.  Furthermore a clear warning clarifies for your children that what you have said wasn’t just a suggestion, but that you meant business.

When you give a warning, it is important to obtain eye contact, speak calmly but firmly, and clarify both the instruction and the consequence that will come if the child doesn’t respond.  A clear warning says: “If you don’t finish your homework you won’t be able to watch TV after supper.”  Or, “If you can’t play nicely with your friend, he will have to go home.”

A warning is different than a threat.  Threats are emotional responses usually spoken out of anger or desperation with an exaggerated or ambiguous consequence, rarely leading to a consequence.  ”If you don’t clean up these toys right now, I’m going to throw them all away!”  Or, “If you don’t come with me now, I’m going to leave you here!”  These are threats, not warnings.

Warnings aren’t always necessary.  If a child hits another and you’ve already established a rule for such things, then it’s understood that this is wrong and you can move directly to the consequence.  If you do use a warning, just give it once.  Instead of a process like this: instruction, warning, follow through, some parents have a process that looks like this:  instruction, warning, warning, warning, warning, explosion with anger.

Make a clear warning part of your discipline strategy and you will teach children important lessons about life and help them predict their own consequences for their decisions.

A Clear Warning

One of the tools of discipline is a clear warning.  It can actually be a teaching tool because it helps children know how to anticipate consequences of their actions.  Furthermore a clear warning clarifies for your children that what you have said wasn’t just a suggestion, but that you meant business.

When you give a warning, it is important to obtain eye contact, speak calmly but firmly, and clarify both the instruction and the consequence that will come if the child doesn’t respond.  A clear warning says: “If you don’t finish your homework you won’t be able to watch TV after supper.”  Or, “If you can’t play nicely with your friend, he will have to go home.”

A warning is different than a threat.  Threats are emotional responses usually spoken out of anger or desperation with an exaggerated or ambiguous consequence, rarely leading to a consequence.  ”If you don’t clean up these toys right now, I’m going to throw them all away!”  Or, “If you don’t come with me now, I’m going to leave you here!”  These are threats, not warnings.

Warnings aren’t always necessary.  If a child hits another and you’ve already established a rule for such things, then it’s understood that this is wrong and you can move directly to the consequence.  If you do use a warning, just give it once.  Instead of a process like this: instruction, warning, follow through, some parents have a process that looks like this:  instruction, warning, warning, warning, warning, explosion with anger.

Make a clear warning part of your discipline strategy and you will teach children important lessons about life and help them predict their own consequences for their decisions.

Tagged with:  

Parenting Tip

On September 27, 2010, in Children's Ministry (Anchor Bay), by Children's Ministry

Are You Giving Instructions Clearly?

We’ve all found ourselves in situations where adults are supervising children. Some adults have the ability to command attention and get children to listen better than others. All they use is what we call a Firm Instruction, a very important part of the discipline process. It’s quite useful whether you’re working with your own children or someone else’s.

Good discipline doesn’t just mean finding appropriate consequences. In fact, developing the skill of giving instructions can prevent many of the discipline problems we experience. Here’s what makes a Firm Instruction work best.

To give a Firm Instruction you must first get your child’s attention. This may involve things like moving close to the child, obtaining eye contact, and requesting the child remove the earphones. Next give a brief, firm, verbal instruction. You don’t have to be harsh or irritated, just calm and matter-of-fact, communicating one-on-one with the child.

After giving the instruction, teach your children how to acknowledge your request. This will help you know that the message was received. A good response is to say, “Okay Mom” or “Okay Dad.” This type of response tells you three things. It tells you that the child has heard the instruction, avoiding the common excuse later, “I didn’t hear you say that.”

The child’s acknowledgment also tells you that the child intends to follow through. And lastly, the way the child responds to you indicates the child’s attitude at the time. Is this an angry or disrespectful “Okayyyy Dadddd!” response? If so, now you know you’re dealing with an attitude problem, not just working on following directions.

The Firm Instruction is one step in a complete discipline process, yet it’s often overlooked. Take time to evaluate your instructions and you’ll be surprised at how small changes can make a big difference.

Are You Giving Instructions Clearly?

We’ve all found ourselves in situations where adults are supervising children. Some adults have the ability to command attention and get children to listen better than others. All they use is what we call a Firm Instruction, a very important part of the discipline process. It’s quite useful whether you’re working with your own children or someone else’s.

Good discipline doesn’t just mean finding appropriate consequences. In fact, developing the skill of giving instructions can prevent many of the discipline problems we experience. Here’s what makes a Firm Instruction work best.

To give a Firm Instruction you must first get your child’s attention. This may involve things like moving close to the child, obtaining eye contact, and requesting the child remove the earphones. Next give a brief, firm, verbal instruction. You don’t have to be harsh or irritated, just calm and matter-of-fact, communicating one-on-one with the child.

After giving the instruction, teach your children how to acknowledge your request. This will help you know that the message was received. A good response is to say, “Okay Mom” or “Okay Dad.” This type of response tells you three things. It tells you that the child has heard the instruction, avoiding the common excuse later, “I didn’t hear you say that.”

The child’s acknowledgment also tells you that the child intends to follow through. And lastly, the way the child responds to you indicates the child’s attitude at the time. Is this an angry or disrespectful “Okayyyy Dadddd!” response? If so, now you know you’re dealing with an attitude problem, not just working on following directions.

The Firm Instruction is one step in a complete discipline process, yet it’s often overlooked. Take time to evaluate your instructions and you’ll be surprised at how small changes can make a big difference.

Parenting TIP

On September 22, 2010, in Children's Ministry (Anchor Bay), by Children's Ministry

September 20, 2010

Ending the Discipline Time Positively

Disciplining children day-to-day often leaves tension in the parent/child relationship. Children feel angry, guilty, or fearful and their parents can be left with lingering frustration. One helpful solution for both parent and child is to have a debriefing after every discipline time. We call it a Positive Conclusion.
During the Positive Conclusion, talk about what went wrong, why it was wrong, and what the child might do differently next time. With younger children you might simply develop a routine, asking them questions in a gentle, non-accusing tone. With teens, a discussion is often helpful covering the same issues.

This kind of Positive Conclusion not only helps clear the air between parent and child but it also helps children think rightly about mistakes as they get older. Instead of self condemnation, a child learns to confess a mistake, determine why it was wrong, and then plan a better response for next time.

Be sure to end the Positive Conclusion with an affirmation like “Okay, go ahead and try again.” It’s the same kind of affirmation that Jesus gave to the woman caught in adultery in John 8 when he said, “Go and sin no more.”

Regular use of a Positive Conclusion in your parenting will reduce the tension as well as teach children a better response for next time.

September 20, 2010

Ending the Discipline Time Positively

Disciplining children day-to-day often leaves tension in the parent/child relationship. Children feel angry, guilty, or fearful and their parents can be left with lingering frustration. One helpful solution for both parent and child is to have a debriefing after every discipline time. We call it a Positive Conclusion.
During the Positive Conclusion, talk about what went wrong, why it was wrong, and what the child might do differently next time. With younger children you might simply develop a routine, asking them questions in a gentle, non-accusing tone. With teens, a discussion is often helpful covering the same issues.

This kind of Positive Conclusion not only helps clear the air between parent and child but it also helps children think rightly about mistakes as they get older. Instead of self condemnation, a child learns to confess a mistake, determine why it was wrong, and then plan a better response for next time.

Be sure to end the Positive Conclusion with an affirmation like “Okay, go ahead and try again.” It’s the same kind of affirmation that Jesus gave to the woman caught in adultery in John 8 when he said, “Go and sin no more.”

Regular use of a Positive Conclusion in your parenting will reduce the tension as well as teach children a better response for next time.

Parenting Tips

On September 10, 2010, in Children's Ministry (Anchor Bay), by Children's Ministry

Parenting Tip

September 9, 2010

Problem Solving and Decision Making

How do your children handle problems and decisions? Some children whine, complain, and have bad attitudes. However, problems and decisions make great opportunities to teach children how to face life’s challenges.
Families make decisions and solve problems on a daily basis. Parents must make some decisions, and in those cases children need to learn to follow. At other times parents can involve children and teach them to make wise choices.

Developing good decision-making skills gives children the ability to define a problem, imagine consequences of various alternatives, and then choose the best solution among the options. Allowing children to solve some problems for themselves communicates honor to them. It says, “I believe in you. You have what it takes.”

Sometimes parents solve problems for children to help them avoid frustration. Be careful that you don’t rob your children of learning experiences. Frustration can be a great teacher and can motivate children into new areas. You then can be the counselor or coach as life teaches a valuable lesson.

Don’t be too quick to solve a problem or make a decision for your kids. Involve children in the process, not just in the final product. Much of the day-to-day problem-solving and decision-making in family life can demonstrate cooperation and teamwork as parents and children work together. Cooperative decision-making teaches children valuable skills of negotiation, compromise, communication, and creating alternatives. Mutual honor is demonstrated in the midst of cooperation.

Parenting Tip

September 9, 2010

Problem Solving and Decision Making

How do your children handle problems and decisions? Some children whine, complain, and have bad attitudes. However, problems and decisions make great opportunities to teach children how to face life’s challenges.
Families make decisions and solve problems on a daily basis. Parents must make some decisions, and in those cases children need to learn to follow. At other times parents can involve children and teach them to make wise choices.

Developing good decision-making skills gives children the ability to define a problem, imagine consequences of various alternatives, and then choose the best solution among the options. Allowing children to solve some problems for themselves communicates honor to them. It says, “I believe in you. You have what it takes.”

Sometimes parents solve problems for children to help them avoid frustration. Be careful that you don’t rob your children of learning experiences. Frustration can be a great teacher and can motivate children into new areas. You then can be the counselor or coach as life teaches a valuable lesson.

Don’t be too quick to solve a problem or make a decision for your kids. Involve children in the process, not just in the final product. Much of the day-to-day problem-solving and decision-making in family life can demonstrate cooperation and teamwork as parents and children work together. Cooperative decision-making teaches children valuable skills of negotiation, compromise, communication, and creating alternatives. Mutual honor is demonstrated in the midst of cooperation.

Page 20 of 26« First...10...1819202122...Last »

Our mission is to help as many people
as possible become totally committed
to Jesus Christ!