It’s was a Monday morning before school and we are trying to get ready and out the door. Sometimes this goes smoothly but this particular morning after a week-long snow break, (that happened right after Christmas break I must add) we seemed to be moving slower than usual.
Because I had already redirected my children many times, I was already feeling stressed.
One of my littles was talking to me and for some reason, I couldn’t hear him. Maybe it’s because of my age, which seems to be a factor these days or the food he had in his mouth, regardless of the reason, I couldn’t understand what he was saying.
After the third time of asking him to repeat himself, he told me that I “needed to get a hearing aid.”
Perhaps on another day, I would have laughed off his comment. But this morning I was not having it. Maybe it was the look I gave him or the angry words that proceeded out of my mouth, but he understood that he did not make a good choice and that mommy was not happy.When parenting I often correct to get the result I want instead of shepherding to reach their heart. Click To Tweet
Through the different studies I’ve been doing lately, I’ve become more aware that I am raising little ones based on Behavior Modification. This happens when we attempt to obtain the desired behavior by having a reward or a consequence as the motivation behind their behavior.
In both scenarios, as a reward or consequence, I miss reaching my child’s heart with the intent of bringing them into a closer relationship with God.
SO, I’ve been thinking.
Too often I correct when I am impatient.
Too often I correct when I’m angry.
Too often I correct with the intention of getting the result I want.
It’s easy to “parent well” when things are going great and your kids are listening, right?
My husband and I often discuss how we could handle situations better when we are in the thick of it.
When life is messy and the stress is so high you think the roof might actually blow off!
What do you do?
Tedd Tripp, in Shepherding a Child’s Heart explains our objective as Christian parents this way, “Teaching your children to live for the glory of God must be your over-arching objective.”
Here are some practices we TRY to implement when a child needs correction and we are in the thick of it.
The First thing we do is take a break.
This gives Mommy or Daddy and the child some time to cool off and get ourselves together. We call this “reset time.” The amount of time away depends on the particular situation and varies on the child and their age. We have children ages 10, 9, and 6.
Next, we communicate.
Once I am settled down and can think clearly, I do my best to try to see the heart and the why behind whatever has been going on. Back to my example earlier, I know my child didn’t mean to be unkind. He was joking around which is common in our family, but none-the-less it was disrespectful. So we talk about that.
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14
Next, we find out what God says.
God must have known we would need ample examples to help us through our days, hence the bible is filled with them. So, we go to the Word to try to find out what Truth says. Sometimes I will have them write out a Biblical principle or they receive some other correction that our family has set up. You will know what works best for your individual child.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16
Lastly, we pray together.
I find this to be my favorite part. It’s what ties everything together.
Praying together reminds our children that no matter what they do they will never fall out of God’s love for them. I also remind them the same is true for our love for them. It is unconditional and never-ending.
NO MATTER WHAT.
I would also like to point out that if I have gotten angry with them and said things I shouldn’t have, I apologize and ask for forgiveness.
Then when we pray I ask our heavenly father to forgive me which realigns my heart with God and models for them that I too fall short and need our Saviour’s grace. After all this, we usually end up in a big hug.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
There is no correct order for these suggestions. Sometimes we pray first and sometimes it comes last and to be honest, sometimes it just doesn’t happen. You know your family dynamics best, pray and let the Holy Spirit be your guide.
To read more about my story and how I got here read By God’s Grace.
One last thing I would like to leave with you.It doesn't matter how many times we make mistakes, to our children we will always be their heroes. Click To Tweet
Continue to seek God, pray often, say you’re sorry when you need to and let them know often how amazing their father’s love is for them. Remind them that no matter what their trial, failure or disappointment is, we serve a God who is more than capable of helping them through it.
I would love to hear your thoughts below or practices that have worked for you in the midst of “crazy.” Thanks again for visiting What Love Has Done.