Here are the earlier posts in this series:
Why are some moms so angry?
What’s the husband/fathers role in helping an angry mom?
How can we get discipline back under control?
And for today, What is child training and how do we do it? courtesy of Jenny.
I would like to add a couple of notes to my previous post…
1. When children learn to obey the majority of the time, they earn the right to respectfully appeal with something like, “Yes, Mom, may I finish this first?” or whatever is appropriate for the situation. However, appeals can’t follow every directive.
2. Never spank in anger. When you send the child to wait for you, that is your time to gather your thoughts, pray for wisdom and ask God to help you handle the situation calmly and lovingly. If you get frustrated because your child won’t admit what they did, take a break. It will give him/her time to think and you time to refocus. Gal. 6:1 reminds us if anyone is caught in a sin (i.e. disobeying parents), we are to restore them in a spirit of gentleness.
3. I mentioned checking your motive. Let me expound. If your motive is to pay your child back, to get out your frustration, to gain obedience because it is more convenient for you or because of any selfish reason, your motive is wrong. Teaching children the self-control to say no to themselves and yes to you will one day translate into them saying no to themselves and yes to God. Don’t we all wish we had more self-control not to say whatever we’re thinking, not to eat foods we know we shouldn’t, not to spend money we know isn’t within the budget? Self-control is a gift. And we can give this gift to our children through loving, consistent discipline which is aimed toward the child’s benefit, not ours.
4. I know that there are some who would read “spank in love” and scoff. That is just not something that is conceivable to them. I can understand that. Sin has tainted what biblical discipline should look like. People have been hurt and therefore have abandoned the truth of God’s word. Proverbs says, “Every word of God proves true.” Colossians 2:8 warns us not to be taken captive by the world’s hollow and deceptive philosophies because God has made foolish the wisdom of this world (I Cor. 1:20).
So on to Training and Encouragement…
Consistency in discipline is vitally important but
What does that mean? It means that you can give consequence after consequence but you will see a significant difference if you take the time to teach your child not only what to “put off” as Eph. 4 tells us but what to put on. Don’t athletes practice, practice, and practice some more before actually going out to compete? So why not give our children time to practice obeying during a fun, non-confrontational training time?
During training time, you can teach your kids what you mean by first-time obedience. Tell them what you’ve seen them doing: talking back, grumbling, ignoring, etc. You can even act out what you’ve seen them doing. This usually makes a huge impact and the kids think it’s hilarious seeing Mom and Dad acting like them. Next, explain using Scripture such as Ephesians 6:1-2 and Phil 2:14 why what they’ve been doing is wrong. Carefully explain and/or act out what you would like to see. Then let them know what the consequence will be if they don’t obey cheerfully, right away, all the way and no matter what.
Now it’s practice time! Give them a task to perform.
Example) “Becky, please take these two toys and put them where they belong.” Becky says cheerfully, “Yes, Mom.” When she finishes, she comes back and reports, “Mom, I put the toys away. Is there anything else I can do to help?” You encourage her with, “Thank you, Becky, for obeying cheerfully and right away!”
You can also use this time to practice all kinds of things like how to resolve an argument with a sibling, the best way to ask for a toy, how to sit quietly in church, what to do when a friend says something unkind, how to look an adult in the eye and carry on a conversation. Whatever you want to work on, use this time to practice it. The more you want to work on, the more often you schedule training time. If you have littler ones, you may want to set aside two nights a week. For older kids, once a week or every other week might do.
I will say try to make it a set night if possible. It will help you to remember and actually do it if you know it’s “Tuesday Training Time.”
I love how Mrs. Duggar puts it, “Practice makes progress!” That’s what we’re looking for, progress…not perfection.
Lastly, don’t forget to praise, encourage and thank your children when you see respectful, loving behavior. When someone praises you for something, doesn’t it make you want to do it again? And if we’re only correcting what we don’t like, they will become discouraged. They need to be assured that they are on the right track. “Thank you, Lucy, for showing love to your sister by sharing that toy!” “Wow, Cameron, what a kind boy you are!” “Good job, Molly, obeying so quickly! Thank you.”
While teaching first-time obedience calmly, consistently and in love will bring peace and order to your home, it is equally important to remember when Jesus said there was no greater commandment than to “‘love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength [and to] love your neighbor as yourself.’”
If our children are outwardly obedient but inwardly defiant, or outwardly respectful to you and others but don’t love others, it is worthless. We lead first by example, then through teaching what the Word says and allowing the Holy Spirit to do His work in their lives. Parenting is not a part-time job. It takes a lot of time, patience, love, and proactive, intentional teaching and training. What an awesome responsibility is ours. I want to be found faithful.
It’s been almost seven years since my husband and I were first introduced to the godly parenting information that changed our lives and the vision we have for our family. I don’t know where we’d be without it. I am so very grateful that God led a woman at our church (who is now my mentor) to facilitate a parenting class which was a series of videos by Reb Bradley of Family Ministries called Biblical Insights into Child Training. Since then I have worked with Mr. Bradley and even had the opportunity to have him stay with us recently. I love this man’s heart and am so grateful he has used his God-given gifts of wisdom and teaching to share with parents a biblical, practical, and counter-cultural way to raise up warriors for Christ. Thanks to him, I understand what the Bible means when it says that children are a blessing and reward.
By the way, Mr. Bradley has a new series called Parenting Teens with the Wisdom of Solomon. It’s invaluable!
Thank-you, Jenny! I can personally attest to the effectiveness of diligent child training and discipline. (Because of Jenny taking the time to personally address some struggles our family was having, we tried out her (Reb’s) methods. For some silly reason, we have strayed from that lately, which probably explains yesterday’s post… Back on track!)
I would love to hear if you are going to start something new in your family because of any of the posts in this series! What are you going to try doing differently?