children · Motherhood · Parenting

Why Talking Isn’t Enough In Child Training

Imagine yourself walking along with your child in a grassy field.  As you walk across the deep growth, you hear a noise.  You look a few feet in front of you and see the source of the sound – a rattle snake shaking its tail, ready to strike a venomous blow.

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You stop your child, point towards the reptile and say,

That is a rattlesnake!  Rattlesnakes are poisonous.  They can hurt or kill you.

Then you proceed forward with your planned walk, leaving your child and yourself open to true danger.

You’re shaking your head right now because you know you would hever do that.  You know that on sight of the poisonous snake, you would REMOVE both your child AND yourself from its presence just as quickly as possible.  Even if your child didn’t understand what was happening and didn’t want to leave, you would drag him off, knowing you were saving him from sure disaster.

Now let me ask you – if you would do that with a snake, why won’t you do that with your child’s sin?  What is keeping you from doing whatever is necessary to get them away from their sinful/deadly behaviour?

So often I see parents look at their child after they’ve disobeyed, spoken disrespectfully or been defiant and say something that sounds like the parent describing the poisonous snake –

That is not nice.

Those are ugly words!

You are not obeying!

Then they continue to walk towards “the snake.”  No action is taken to stop the forward movement – the continuation of their sin!

Proverbs 29:15 reminds us how to train a child to “run away from the snake.”

The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings his mother to shame.

You can use words to teach, but it needs another element added to it to get the lesson across – it’s a rod, a paddle.  Loving, firm discipline connnected with teaching them what God’s Word says about their sin is the only way to get them to understand the danger of going their own way.  Words alone will not get the job done because children are foolish.

Proverbs 22:15 – Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

This is what God tells us! He made our children and He knows their sinful hearts.   Why do we think we can try to discipline another way – a way that eliminates a spanking?  No one enjoys having to spank their child, but the end result is rest (v. 17).

After the rod AND reproof are given, your child will be on the lookout for snakes himself because he doesnt’ want to “get bitten” again.

To really love your child, you must care enough to not only point out their sinful behaviour, but punish them when it shows itself.  Don’t leave that child on their own.  God gave them a parent to teach and train them…and that blessed person is YOU.  Be on the lookout for the poisonous snakes in their path!

With love,

children · Dinner · Marriage · salvation

My Most Popular Posts

To continue with my theme of my 10th anniversary of blogging, I thought it would be fun to share highlights of my blog.  Let’s start with food!

You don’t have to read my posts for long to know that I love to cook.  We love good food made at home and it’s fun to find the best recipes to make for my friends and family.  The recipe that has had the most hits on my blog is my recipe for Beef Enchiladas.  That is for good reason, friends.  This is probably my family’s favorite dish!  You can find this recipe here.

Coming in as another sought after recipe is this one for Empanadas.  Another beef recipe, this is a great do-ahead recipe that could be frozen prior to baking.

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The blog post that has the highest readers was a post near and dear to my own heart.  It dealt with how to know if your child is ready to be saved.  Many parents struggle to know if their child is too young to trust Christ.  Should they make them wait until they’re older?  Do they need to know more before they pray?  Here was my response to those questions.

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Marriage posts are important to me because I know how the devil attacks the home and would love to destroy the union between husband and wife.  Simple posts like this one on kindness in marriage shows that it’s really the little things that can make a big difference in a happy relationship.

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This post on getting a toddler ready to sit in church must be a hot topic because it was another popular read.  We all know that getting a 4 or 5 yea-old to sit quietly in church is like trying to corral kittens!  I trust these ideas will help get those kittens to sit for a little while so Mommy and Daddy can hear God’s Word without having to leave the service (as often).

I trust that some of these most popular posts might help inspire you in your kitchen, your home and marriage, or your church service!  Come back tomorrow where we’ll get a little more personal.  =)

Denise

 

 

 

children · Empty Nest · Motherhood

Making the Most Of the Parenting Years

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I have a dear friend whose son enlisted in the Marines. It was a lifelong dream for him. It was heartbreaking for his parents to see him leave. Here was his mom’s Facebook status the night he left home:

“Our son left today-Took his Bible, address book and $20- He also took many prayers that our special friends have been lifting up! Thanks for all the love, prayer and support you have shown our family. Our hearts are hurting and empty tonight. His leaving has left a huge hole in our home – we miss him already more that words can say.”

What new mommy realizes how soon her little boy will go from playing with plastic army men to being an army man? What young mother understands how quickly her little girl will exchange climbing the steps in their home to climbing the steps to her college dorm room? People tell you this disheartening news frequently when you bring a baby home from the hospital, but you can’t really comprehend the brevity of raising your family until you stand in the hallway and look into their empty bedroom.

It will come much sooner than you think, dear friend, so can I encourage you to prepare for that day? You may be wondering how in the world you could prepare for that…I’m glad you asked!

  • Spend time with your children. Do without eating out, living in a bigger house, or going on vacations, if necessary so you can stay home and be with them while they’re growing up. I worked nine months when our older daughter was a preschooler. We thought the extra income would help. It didn’t – not really. It is the year I regret most. I learned my lesson, though, and stayed home the rest of her growing up years!
  • Pour the Word of God into them every day all through the day in all they do. Make it a part of conversation.
  • Pray with them each night – even after they reach high school. Go to their bed and pray about their concerns and burdens.
  • Be fun to be around. Learn to laugh with your children. Smile at them. Laugh at yourself!
  • Role play different scenarios. “What would you do if this happened or you were in this situation?” Teach them to respond biblically.
  • Make a big thing of having Christian servants – Pastor, youth pastor, Sunday school teacher, missionaries, evangelists – in your home so they can see that serving God is a daily adventure to be enjoyed!
  • Be learning about the character of God so you can apply the Truth to your own heart and then teach your children so they can learn to trust Him!
  • Study the role of a mother in Scripture so you’ll know that your child needs to leave home. Pray about how you can prepare them.
  • Be building a strong marriage so you won’t be looking across the table at a stranger when the last child leaves. You’ll also have your best friend to spend time with when you’re missing the child that has left.
  • Stay close to the Lord while the children are home and when they leave. “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” Heb. 13:5b The Lord wants to be your anchor!

I remember when I faced the Empty Nest, and I remember the hurting heart that came with it. It is a sad time, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with shedding some tears, but we must also realize it’s a blessing to watch your child fly out to do what you raised them to do – go serve the Lord! We wouldn’t really want them to stay with us forever; God has a great plan for them to follow. So prepare them now for that day and enjoy every day you have with them now.

children · Discipleship · Parenting

Family Friday – Training in Discipline

“Go to your room.  I’ll be there in a minute.”  Those words spoken to our daughters when they were growing up were serious words.  They knew that it meant one thing – a S-P-A-N-K-I-N-G was coming!  Sometimes they would hear our footsteps soon after they’d gotten to their bedroom.  Other times, we would have to go off and pray and collect ourselves first!

In our home, discipline always took place in a private place.  If we were at home, it Continue reading “Family Friday – Training in Discipline”

children · Easter · salvation · Uncategorized

Helping Children Understand Easter

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When I was eight years-old I made the most important decision of my life.  I received Christ as my personal Savior.  Ever since that day I have had the confidence that Christ paid the penalty of my sins and I am His!  I know I’ll spend eternity with Him – not because of anything I’ve done, but because of what Christ did for me.

That decision did more than give me a happy ending to my story!  It also gave me a Continue reading “Helping Children Understand Easter”

children · Family life · home · Parenting

Family Friday – The Happiest Place On Earth

 

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I just heard a comment from a high school senior on her senior trip to Disney World say, “This has to be the happiest place on earth!” Having been there I can understand her sentiment. With beautiful flowers everywhere, light-hearted music, Mickey and Minnie, fun food, fun rides and fun times. of course it’s a happy place!

 There is another place that should be one of the happiest places on this earth – home. Home should be the most loving, secure and fun place for a child. What will you do today to make it that way for your children? Are you homeschooling? Are you sending your children off for the day?  Dealing with adult children living at home?  What can you do to make this the BEST place to live in or return to? Don’t get so caught up in the day-to-day routines that you forget to make more than a house – make it a home…a place to nurture, love, accept and have FUN!!
For your little ones – Change things around today or even on April Fools Day. Let them eat their dessert first! Have lunch under the table instead of on it. Go to the library and get new books – perhaps books about spring, baby lambs or even a child’s cookbook. Read together in a new place – build a comfy spot on the floor with pillows and cushions or make a tent using all the kitchen chairs as props.
Play uplifting music – Patch the Pirate, The Donut Man, Veggie Tales, etc. Let the atmosphere of your home be encouraging for them. It’s easy to play what we like instead of what they would enjoy.
How about some fun food? Cut their sandwich into shapes using cookie cutters. Peanut butter and jelly can take on a whole new taste when it’s cut differently!

For your older kids = 
be there for them. Sit and listen to them.  Do something fun together.  Cook.  Bake.  Shop.  Scroll through Pinterest for ideas and then rearrange her room. Stay up late with them.  Watch their movie or ball game.  Talk. Nod. Love. Pray.
Make your home the “happiest place on the earth” by taking time to be with your children, using creativity and thoughtful action to make each day one they won’t forget!
What are you doing to make your home the HAPPIEST place on earth?
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children · Motherhood · Parenting

Training Children To Be Independent

 

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The baby’s  sitting up!

Now he’s crawling!

He’s feeding himself finger foods!

He’s been potty trained!

Those are all happy steps of progress in our children’s lives.  We look for those initiatives and celebrate their arrival, don’t we?  We have to keep in mind as our children grow older that taking ownership of more and more responsibilities is crucial, both for their good and our own!

As our children mature, we must continue to hand over the things we did when they were infants, so that we eventlually “work our way out of a job!”  Moms always want to be moms, but trust me, even though you’re not running their bath water and folding their laundry, your role in your children’s lives will still be necessary, but just not for the day to day responsiblities.

So how are you doing, Mom?  Are your children learning to take responsibility for their personal needs little by little? If you’re not sure, let me ask you a few questions so you can evaluate your offspring’s level of responsibility and where improvement might be needed.

  • Do you find yourself having to repeat commands like, “Brush your teeth,” or “Do your homework?”
  • Do you take care of most of  the daily needs of your child that is more than 5 years-old?
  • Does your child have a list of responsiblities – household chores they are to care for daily?
  • If your child is more than ten years-old, can they take care of themselves if you are gone for a day and night? (I don’t mean they’re left alone!)
  • Can your eight-year old (or older) take care of preparing a simple breakfast or lunch (no cooking on the stove) for themselves? Will they make wise choices?
  • Can your school-aged child that is reading have a time of devotions on their own?
  • Can they also get showered, dressed and ready for the day on their own before school or church?

Every child is different, of course, but you as the parent know what your child is capeable of, and the truth is, they might even be able to do more than you know!  Here are some suggestions of responsiblities and ages in which you could expect them to take over:

  • Pre-school – 3 – 4 years old –
    • Put toys into a toy bin or box
    • Help set the table
    • Fold wash cloths
    • Pull sheets up over bed
    • Take trash to central household trash can
    • Dress themselves with clothes laid out for them
    • Put dirty clothes into clothes basket
    • Feed themselves
  • School-age – 5 – 7
    • Keep room cleaned by putting toys, books away
    • Take dirty dishes from table to counter
    • Set the table
    • Make bed completely
    • Brush teeth
    • Wash themselves in tub (with supervision)
    • Hang up, put away clothes in closet or dresser
    • Read short Bible passage and pray
    • Separate white laundry from colored
    • Fold towels and washcloths
    • Sweep floor
    • Dust
    • Begin to pick out appropriate cothes
    • Help unload groceries from car and put some things away
  • 8 – 10 years-old
    • Keep room clean
    • Clothes hung and put away
    • Strip sheets and put clean ones back on bed
    • Load and empty dishwasher
    • Shower and dress independently
    • Fold laundry and put away
    • Clean bathroom sinks and toilets
    • Choose clothes and dress independently
    • Be responsible for gathering school items – backpack, homework, lunch
    • Have a time of Bible reading, simple sentence journal and prayer
    • Order their own food at a restaurant
  • 10 – 12 years-old
    • Load washer, do laundry
    • Vacuum
    • Be completely responsible for books, homework, and belongings
    • Have devotions with Bible reading, prayer and journal
    • Boys – help with outdoor chores in yard
    • Be completely responsible with showering, dressing, and picking clothes out, getting them clean and putting them away
    • Able to prepare simple meals, graduating to cooking
    • Pack suitcase for vacation
    • Take responsibility for a job like babysitting or cutting grass

Again, these are only a few suggestions, and they’re all probably able to be done sooner than suggested for most children.  A wise parent will allow their children to share the load and will supervise and inspect what is expected.

Why would you want to enable your child to learn these things?  To help them be responsible, independent adults who know how to manage in the world and be able to serve the Lord because of their skills.

How do you get there?  Little by little.  Add more and more responsibility and expect the child to follow through.  I found that rewards are excellent teaching tools.  A chart with stickers for a small child works well.  There are lots of ideas on Pinterest you could try, but the point is, do it!  Don’t allow your children to be “drinking from a sippy cup” all the time they’re at home.  They’ll be grateful – if not now, when they’re older, and you’ll have more time to focus on the other facets of mothering as each one of these responsibilities is released into their hands.

What makes it difficult for you to release responsibilities to your children?  

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