As moms, we want to do what’s best for our children. So, if the Bible, in Ephesians 6:4, says NOT to exasperate our children, we shouldn’t. But, what does it mean? What do we do and what don’t we do? I researched the word and the verse.
Fathers do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
I am not a A type personality or a planner kind of person. Not a good or a bad thing, but it did become a problem for me after the birth of my second child. My firstborn did not need to be disciplined. He just didn’t do anything wrong. I thought it was because of my perfect mothering skills……..Ha! Then my second child was born, and by the time he was 6 months old, I knew I needed a plan to deal with his ‘curiosity’ and tendency to do things that he shouldn’t.
My husband and I came up with a list of non-negotiables for our home. We explained the list to our children, and talked about the points often. It made my life so much easier. I had less to think about. If a non-negotiable was compromised, and the child was willfully disobedient, I disciplined the child. Period.
Here is a scope that I made to explain them. What non-negotiables would you create for your household?
It was easy for me to trust God when no trust was really needed. I probably would not have admitted that, but after a traumatic event in our family two years ago, I realized it was true. All of a sudden I couldn’t control a bad situation, and prayer didn’t seem to be working. Where was my trust?
I remember looking at one of my young children and saying quietly to myself, “Wow, Johnny has a BIG problem with sulking. I’ll have to work on that.”
Then, just as quickly, as life screamed my name, amid the laundry, cooking, cleaning, nursing the baby, breathing…… I forgot that I should spend time working on Johnny’s attitude. Until, he sulked again. Then, I was mad at him, AND ME!
I decided to create a report card to help organize and strategize my attempts to equip my children with the tools that they needed to fulfill their destinies.
My report cards were divided into quarters, with the same 3 categories in each quarter.
I reevaluated the child’s progress after each quarter. Often, I could eliminate or tweak 1 or 2 goals.
My quarters were Sept. 1- Thanksgiving Day, Dec. 1 – Jan. 1, January and February, and March – Memorial Day.
Here is a sample of one of my report cards:
-How is their speech? Can they pronounce every letter?
-Can they run, jump, climb steps and perform other appropriate physical skills?
-Can they set and meet simple goals?
-Are they attentive as we share devotions? Do they seem to understand what we are reading?
-Do they understand what it means to pray? Do they pray?
-Are they kind? Considerate? Humble? Respectful?
-Are they learning how to demonstrate self-control?
-How do they respond to correction?
-Are they learning to be outward and God focused, as opposed to inward and self centered)?
-Can they choose to demonstrate a positive attitude?
-Can they follow directions?
-Are they learning to do things neatly?
-Do they complete a task or project after it is started?
-Are they learning to work independently?
I do not share the report cards with the children. The cards help me work with the children and affirm them as they improve.
If you aren’t following Kristen Welch on social media, I would encourage you to start. Her blog, We Are That Family, is informative, inspiring, and worth your time.
She is a Christian wife, mom, and author. I enjoyed reading both of her books, and was honored to be able to read her latest book, Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World, before its release today, January 26, 2016.
Before reading the book, I assumed it was written to help parents teach their children how to look at life from an outward, self-less perspective. It does that, in an easy to read, honest and transparent format.
What I didn’t expect was the conviction that I felt as I examined my own heart as I was reading. Without laying a guilt trip on it’s readers, Kristen gently helps the reader examine their goals, world view, and expectations.
I HIGHLY recommend that everyone purchase this book. I plan on using it for a book club which will meet at my home each month in 2016.
Here is a list of of 8 ways that I shared to help moms discipline their children with grace:
Look for the the positive in each of your children, EVERY DAY , and affirm them.
Don’t manipulate your children. Examples of manipulating, “I’ll tell your daddy about that if you do that one more time, and he will be really mad.” or “If you do that again, you will never ___________.”
As a mom, choose joy. Choose to be joyful. 1 Thes. 5:16-18
Try as hard as you can to NOT show favoritism.
Don’t use anger to force obedience.
Understand that raising young children is a very important and exhausting chapter of our lives, but it is JUST that, a chapter. It is not our forever.
Be consistent. Don’t look the other way.
We need to be a role model and ask forgiveness of our children when we sin against them.
I explain each point in more detail in the scope. You can watch it here.
If my yearly resolutions are too detailed or specific, I tend to panic and stress over them. In the past, I have NOT been successful keeping them for more than a few weeks, UNTIL last year.
Last year, I decided to be more open ended. I needed more flexibility. It WORKED. I not only kept them, I added to them as the year progressed. What would work for you?
Tomorrow I’ll share resolutions that I made for my children when they were younger.
My New Year’s Resolutions for 2016
Because I care about my health, I will….
*Continue using Plexus
*Exercise Monday, Wednesday and Friday
*Eat very lite suppers
Because I am being transformed into His image, (2 Cor. 3:18 ), I will….
* Read 6 books that will help me grow in my faith
* Pray daily
* Participate in my Church’s Bible study
Because my marriage is intended to be a picture of God’s love for the world and the family….
*I will prioritize weekly dates with my hubby
* I will allow hubby time to de-stress when he comes home from work
* I will pray for my hubby daily
Because I believe that the calling of Motherhood is a high calling, I will….
* Keep monthly ‘birth date dates’*** with each of the children
* Pray for the children daily and help them to meet their goals
* Keep my home de-cluttered, organized, and comfortable
Because I believe that God wants me to be His voice, hands and feet in my community, I will….
*Continue to hold monthly mom’s meetings in my home
* Continue to help monthly with the Office of Aging
* Continue to take meals to Hospice
I’d LOVE to read your resolutions!
(***Just a clarification. On the birth date of each of my children, my hubby or I take them out on a ‘date’. That insures that we are having quality one on one time with each of our children at least 12 times a year)