We raise boys. Three so far to be exact. They are currently 6, 4.5 and 5 months. Here they are, picture perfect.
And...here's a more realistic image of what it's like in our house. I borrowed this video from my son's camera.
Conversations overheard this morning in my basement included fart guns, zombies, getting eaten by sharks and lots of death and dying noises. I SO need to take a class on how to speak boy.
During the Snowpocolypse of 2014, I learned several good lessons. One of these new concepts is a discipline strategy that has drastically changed the mood in my home and the responsiveness of my children. We've tried many things before, but this one seems to be sticking!
About two months ago, my husband and I came to the realization that our children were yet again jockeying for control of the home. We were all grouchy. Kind words were not often heard. Discipline was ineffective. There was no PEACE! We sat down and prayerfully came up with a game plan.
With the help of a resource called the "If/Then Chart", we diagnosed three areas that were our children's biggest weaknesses, and decided to focus on those and ONLY those areas for one month. We would discipline every time, no second chances. After discipline, we would discuss with the child their unwise choice or ugly heart moments.
- Proverbs 30:17 "The eye that mocks a father, that scorns obedience to a mother, will be pecked out by the ravens of the valley, will be eaten by the vultures." (They LOVED this verse, of course!)
- Discipline: 5 minutes with their nose on the wall, or 5 minutes with their hand over their mouth if in the car or no wall is available.
- 2 Timothy 2:23 "Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels."
- Discipline: 5 minutes isolation – either time out in their bed or sitting in a chair
Not Following Directions/Disobedience:
- Ephesians 6:1 "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right."
- Discipline: Loss of privilege such as no more TV time, loss of toy, no dessert, having to stay home from fun event.
PUTTING IT INTO ACTION
We sat down with the boys to discuss our plan. Over Christmas break we had planned some fun activities for us to enjoy together. After explaining that we didn't end up doing any of those things because of their poor behavior, we had their attention (and a few tears).
Our speech went something like this:
"Mommy and Daddy love you boys very much, and God wants us to enjoy each other. But right now, no one is happy. Do you think the way you boys behave might have something to do with that? (Nodding) We would love to do fun things with you, but when you treat us badly and make us miserable by your disrespect, we don't have the energy for it. We want to enjoy being with you, so we are going to help you by reminding you when your behavior is not Godly. We aren't punishing you; we are teaching you. There will be no second chances because we want you to learn this well. This is so we can enjoy our family and have fun together!"
Surprisingly they agreed to the disciplines we laid out. After a few very rough days with noses on the wall, lots of sitting in their bed, and many privileges revoked, our boys showed marked improvement. It gave us energy to keep going. I am so thankful for Christian parents who have paved the way and made their wisdom available to this young mom just trying to survive pretend bazookas, stinky sandals and more puddles by the toilet than I can count. I hope this encourages you to continue on and find ways to make peace in your home, so that Christ can dwell in you richly!
See you next time in the round,
P.S. Please feel free to share in the comments section resources you've found helpful in training up children in your life, whether through Sunday school, your own children or grandchildren, babysitting, etc.
“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."