Parenting with Purpose: Correction for Kingdom Kids Part I

Parenting-W-Purpose-Greer

“Next time you lie to me you’re really going to get it!”

“If you steal one more time, you will be grounded for three months, lose all your privileges, and I’ll take all your toys and give them to the less fortunate!” 

“I already told you four times to get that room clean, or else you will not be going to Andrew’s house!” (Later) “Ok, honey, you can go since you said it’s clean.”

Sound familiar? How many times have you exercised disproportionate correction and idle threats, or didn’t check to see if the task was done correctly? You may be laughing, but you know it’s true!  Correction for Kingdom Kids can be challenging and delicate, but with the leading of the Holy Spirit, we can be victorious!

As a public school teacher and mother of three, I realized that I must seek to understand how to “parent” as unto the Lord. Our Heavenly Father is close at hand to teach, show, and lead us to become the parents He created us to be. Therefore, let’s look to God’s ways and thoughts, since they are higher than our own (see Isaiah 55:9). In the following weeks, we will see how God can help us apply order, discipline, and hope to establish a peaceful home and lift the burden of parenting.

Order

Order is an essential foundation in developing a home and family. Apply Paul’s words to yours, “Let all things be done decently and in order” (I Corinthians 14:40 KJV). Rick Renner’s book Sparkling Gems defines order as “organized, well-planned, respectful, courteous, well-mannered, and polite.” Sounds like your kids, right?

If not, the first steps are to acknowledge, believe, and trust that, in God’s perfect order, you are the right parent for the children He has given you. The characteristics of Christ that you possess make you the perfect one for the job.

Next, study your child’s unique ways, and write out what makes him/her move and tick. Then use that information to establish and maintain order in your home. I determined that my kids do well with lists. They each have a chores list; some of the tasks are common, while others are specific to age and ability. Two of my kids are good in just being able to check off completions, but the other needed an incentive. As a result, they earn points for the quality of work and whether or not we had to remind them. Points are totaled at the end of the week, which translates into minutes of time towards TV, computer, or video games. One way of keeping track of these points is through the use of a checkbook register, applying credits and/or debits. This works for our family because we do not allow these activities on school nights, and it teaches the kids that they must work and work well for what they want.  They also have the opportunity to earn bonuses if they “go the extra mile” and memorize designated scripture verses.

Once we established this system, there was order in our home. We have had cooperation regarding cleanliness, homework, and attitude. This equates to well-planned, organized, and respectful kids. Order motivates the child who doesn’t seem to care and teaches each child life skills and natural consequences. You will find there will be less yelling and stolen joy, and more peace and quality time together.

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