Sally Clarkson, famous author and speaker, asked an audience of over 200 women of which I was a part, if we had ever defined the purpose of our home.
Since that conference three years ago, I have thought about it a lot. I am finally ready to answer that seemingly simple, and yet extremely profound question.
I want my home to be a safe haven. A non-judgement zone. A place where emotions are accepted as real and worth examining. An abode where the furnishings are comfortable and beautiful yet not important enough to dictate behavior. And, most importantly, where Jesus reigns in all that is said and done, and love and forgiveness go hand in hand and flow with grace and mercy.
I now have boundaries, direction, and a purpose when I make decisions concerning my home and interacting with my husband, children, and grandchildren and guests in my home.
Thanks Sally Clarkson. What a difference a simple question can make.
I had a tremendous amount of feedback when I talked about motivating children several months ago on Periscope. I also wrote about it in my new book, There’s an Easier Way, in the chapter on Disciplining with Grace.
Over the years, I have found that affirming and expressing appreciation to our children is the easiest and most effective way to change their behavior.
The words that we use to affirm our children must be specific and based on their character.
For example, if a woman in your church tells you that you are the best mom in the entire church, it wouldn’t have the same significance as if she said something more specific such as, “I appreciate the grace and love that you show the women in this church through the women’s ministry.”
We can encourage our children the same way. I keep a list of 44 godly character traits on post-it notes inside my kitchen cabinet to refer to, so I can quickly come up with words of affirmation without much thinking.
Here are some examples:
“Thank you Nancy for taking care of Diesel (the puppy). You were kind and showed compassion.”
“Becky, thank you for being helpful and cleaning up the toys without being asked. That makes mommy so happy because we’ll know just where to find them when we want to play with them again.”
“Tony, thank you for playing with your baby brother while I was busy. That was very considerate of you, and was a huge help for me.”
“Cindy, thank you for bringing me your coat when I asked. It shows that you respect and honor me.”
“Brad, I felt so happy when I saw that you made your bed this morning. Thank you for being diligent and remembering our rules by completing your chores.”
I started using words of affirmation when the children were just babies. Even at 12 months old I could see how much they loved to please me. Affirming even young children helps them want to repeat the desired behavior.
One of the greatest things we can teach our children, is how to wait.
There are numerous reasons to teach our children how to wait. One of the most important reasons for me involved their spiritual walk. I wanted my children to learn to be humble, and diligent, and respectful, and loving and to be totally dependent on God for wisdom and direction. That type of Christian living takes faith, and faith involves trusting God and HIS timing. Learning how to wait in our daily physical walk, makes waiting in our spiritual walk much easier!
Communication with our children is vital to building the foundation that they need to fulfill their destinies in Jesus. Here are some phrases that I like to use with my children to encourage them, show them love, and role play good communication skills.
I liked the way_____________________
I'm glad you enjoyed learning_____________________
How do you feel about it?
You'll make it!
Knowing you, I'm sure_________________________
I have confidence in your judgment__________________
That's a hard one but I'm sure you will work it out
Thanks; that helped a lot
It was thoughtful of you to _______________________
Thanks I really appreciate____________ because it makes________________
You are really improving_______________________
Look at the progress you made____________________
You may not feel that you've reached your goal, but look how far you've come
I'd love to read your thoughts!
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?