Their are a million and one parenting philosophies out there. I have been on a quest searching for years for the perfect parenting plan. I’ve been confused, frustrated, and flabergasted trying to sift through the oodles of discipline approaches!
I have made many mistakes. But, I must tell you I have been guided on my journey to find answers!
With all my heart I want you to know that God wants you to find parenting answers because your children are His and He wants them to return to Him.
My parenting philosophy:
I want to learn how Heavenly Father, the perfect parent, raises his children. My goal is to copy Him. I read His parenting advice in the scriptures and I’ve learned from His words of scripture how he parents His children.
Here is God’s Parenting Pattern:
1) EXPLAIN – Teach, teach, teach. Tell your child the rules and consequences. The child can’t do it if he doesn’t know why he should do it or how to do it or what the results are that will come from doing it. Open your mouth, look in their eyes, and teach them.
2) TRAIN - Practice with your child during the training time so they know exactly what is expected. Train them to understand what good behavior looks like. Commit the child verbally. A child who verbally agrees to do something, is more likely to actually do it.
3) ATTAIN - Allow the child to receive positive or negative consequences for following your guidelines. Allow mistakes to bring natural consequences. It’s not your fault. It is their choice that has hurt them.
If they make a mistake start over with #1 which is teaching and explaining. Then, forgive and forget. If they succeed, celebrate with blessings and greater freedom.
I feel so blessed to have God’s parenting pattern to use as my guide to help me sift through all the different parenting advice. If the parenting tips don’t fit into God’s pattern then I let it go. If it fits, I keep it.
For example, many parenting approaches say that punishments will destroy a child’s self-esteem. What does Heavenly Father say?
- Read Proverbs 13, 19, 22, 23, and 29 and find out. (There are hundreds of bible with different translations. The most correct bible is the King Jame’s version.)
- Sometimes a spanking is appropriate because it is the quickest, strongest way to teach a child about a dangerous situation such as playing in a busy road with fast approaching vehicles or helping them realize they shouldn’t be playing with a herd of stampeding cows.
- At some point, spanking is not appropriate (anywhere from age 8-14 depending on the child) and logical consequences must be utilized.
- Natural, logical consequences are great at any age, if they motivate the child, because it teaches the true principle that a person’s actions create results or consequences in their lives. For example, a natural consequence would be when a child doesn’t put away their laundry, then they wouldn’t have any clothes to wear until they put them away.
7 Bee’s of Teaching “O Bee Dience”:
- Bee consistent
- Bee kind, but firm
- Bee on the same page with your husband
- Bee immovable when their spiritual or physical safety is at risk.
- Bee generous with choices when they are safe choices.
- Bee forgiving when they make mistakes.
- Bee filled with love for them.
Here’s an example: Obedience is the first law of Heaven.
This summer our family has been focusing on learning obedience. Remember K.I.S.S. which stands for keep it simple sweetheart which means that rules should be simple and consistent sweetie.
Obedience looks like the following:
1) Respond to the parent
2) Obey immediately
3) Return and Report.
This pattern looks like the following:
I say, “Jimmy, please unload the dishwasher.”
He responds, “Yes, ma’am.”
He immediatley stops what he is doing, and unloads it. (If it isn’t instant obedience it isn’t obedience. If he leaves the room to run a quick errand, that isn’t obedience either. He needs to ask permission to leave the job, or he may never come back because of distractions, etc.)
When Jimmy is completely finished unloading the dishwasher he comes to his parent and says, “I’m returning and reporting. I finished the dishwasher.”
Then I say, “Okay, let’s check it together.”
It either gets a “Great job son, you did it” or “Try again until it is done.”
During daily or weekly family meetings we do obedience practice. We will practice giving each child a task that is just for practice such as “Johnny, please pick up your shoes.” Then they go through each of the 3 steps -respond, obey, and report, and we give them abounding praise.
During the chore training period you may tell them what isn’t done correctly on cleaning a bathroom, but after a sufficient training period they need to do a good job and you won’t have to give them a detailed explanation of what is clean and what is not. Just say, “Yes” if it passes or “No” if the bathroom doesn’t pass. It is the child’s responsibility to clean the bathroom and figure out what they didn’t do. You could post a checklist on the wall for them to go over to remember all the areas they need to clean to help them. After all, you already know how to clean a bathroom. The responsibility to clean is on the child’s shoulders. They need to learn how to look at the room and realize what needs to be done.
Stay strong – you can do it! You can train your children to be hard workers and finishers!
Training children is one of the hardest and most rewarding things I do DAILY. I teach my children to be finishers. Charlotte Mason, a great contributor of children’s education once said that children only remember about 10% of what we deliberately teach them. So teach them in at least 10 ways each concept that you want them to know.
10 Ways to Teach Children to be Finishers:
1. When I learned that children only have a 10% learning retention I was shocked. I had continuously told my children regarding their chores “Be a finisher. Be a finisher. Be a finisher.”
They were not getting it.
So I started to find new ways to teach them.
My favorite teaching tool is the scriptures because they are the most powerful sword of truth. I thought about the story of David and Goliath. I asked the children, “Was Goliath dead when David hit him with his slingshot?”
The children’s answers were mixed.
I said, “I don’t exactly know if Goliath was dead or not either. But David didn’t risk it. He chopped off Goliath’s head to make sure the job was finished. He was a finisher.”
They were surprised to hear that. I had their attention.
I said, “David left no roadblocks in his way, he left no stone unturned, he finished completely and he showed everyone that he had finished. Likewise I want you to finish doing your chores completely so there is no question in your mind that they are done. Do you understand?”
They said they got it.
2. I have them memorize my favorite scripture which is Phillipians 4:13, “I can do ALL things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
3. Read inspiring true stories about people who endure to the end.
4. Let them read fictional stories of people that overcame all odds.
5. Read to them The Little Train Engine That Could.
6. Teach them to never say “I can’t.” They may say “I’m struggling with . . .”
7. Create family sayings. We chant this with all the zest we can muster when the going gets tough:
We are the Meldrums.
We work before we play.
WE ARE FINISHERS!!!
What are your family sayings?
8. The absolute best way to train children to be a finisher is to give them lots of responsibilities such as chores and let them make lots of mistakes and get lots of wonderful learning opportunities. They will become amazing, independent, unselfish contributors of society that you can be proud of. It’s absolutely worth your time and energy! Let your children clean your house if it’s not as perfect as a professional cleaner.
9. Praise them on a job well done. When you praise them publicly it multiplies the compliment and amplifies the praise.
10. Ask them how they feel when they finish well. Ask them, “Do you feel satisfaction, joy, happiness? Do you feel confident and that you have a purpose? Do you feel the joy of serving others?” This is Attain part that you want to help them realize that they are feeling fulfilled when they work, finish, and serve. We don’t always have to entice them with treats, rewards, or threats. The feeling of a job well done is a REWARD.
***Here’s a Bonus:
11. Sing songs about working like “Whistle while you work.”
Silent Parenting Tips: Watch Them Until They Obey
One amazing technique is if you’re children are fighting or off task come in the room with a beautiful smile like a Queen Bee hovering over her worker bees. Watch your bees silently until they obey. If the child has been taught and trained then they will know what they are suposed to be doing. Your queenly presence will give them the strength to obey even without you speaking.
Non-Lecturing Parenting Tips: Parent with Questions
Instead of always lecturing your child, telling them what to do and having a power battle, use questions to get them back on task. Question such as “What is your job?”, “What are you suposed to be doing?”, or “What room are you cleaning?” Ask in a non-emotional, non-condescending, tone. Keep your voice tone even, level, and relaxed. (THIS IS REALLY HARD!) The child will tell you their answer which engages their heart and mind to reallize what they are doing. It’s far more powerful than you telling them what they are doing and should be doing. They realize if they are on task, you don’t have to condemn them, and then they can realign themself with obedient behavior. How sweet it is!
Anger Parenting Tips: Be Slow to Anger
Anger is frightening and stressful, although it may sometimes be necessary to get through to a child, but usually it’s better to avoid it. Teach your children how to have a cool down. Take cool downs yourself so you can stay peaceful and happy. Remember, a queen bee fills her bucket and so do her worker bees. Pray, walk around the block, turn on some relaxing music, sing, etc. Do WHATEVER IT TAKES to cool down, but don’t quit raising your children and give up the fight. It’s worth it. Sometimes you have to have a little war until peace reigns. You may not be able to do it all, but do keep the homefires burning. You are wonderful. And you wonderful. Be the Mom that your child needs.
You can be a successful parent and raise good children! Don’t forget to pray for help and pray for your children.