Parenting Tips for Christian Parents (Including Discipline)
Hubby and I went to our church’s parenting seminar and it was quite insightful. Other than picking up parenting tips for Christian parents, it’s good to know that we are not alone in our confusion and struggles. This thing called parenting is not easy for most parents. Case in point, most of the Q&A’s questions are about discipline. Discipline is something I’m asking myself these days too. Where do we draw the line? More on that in the ‘About Discipline’ section.
Originally, I had intended to post a list of parenting resources shared in the seminar. Then on second thoughts, why not share those useful notes I took down too? Pastor was the speaker (“Speaker”) and they had three couples up on the panel, including the pastor and wife.
- Live the Let Go Life – Joseph Prince (Chapter 18: Stress-free Parenting)
- Parenting Collection – James C Dobson
- Parents Rising – Arlene Pellicane.
- Grace based Parenting – Tim Kimmel
- The Focus on the Family guide to talking with your kids about sex
- Bringing up Girls – Dr James Dobson
- Raising Great Kids* – Dr Henry Cloud & Dr John Townsend
- Boundaries with Kids* – Dr Henry Cloud & Dr John Townsend
- God’s Glorious Plan for Your Family DVD Joseph Prince
- Godly Discipline and Correction Brings Promotion DVD Joseph Prince
*Speaker suggested these two books if you have to choose. Personally, I am interested in “Boundaries with Kids”. It takes wisdom to know when to say “No”. I got the Boundaries book for myself before.
Who is God in this?
1) God is the owner.
2) God is a parent. God gives you a child because He knows you can handle it. Just like we give or don’t give our children based on whether we know they can handle it.
3) God teams up with you. Listen to the Holy Spirit. No one size fits all formula. Not let others dominantly take care of your children – e.g. school, grandparents, etc.
Key Parenting Goals for Pre-Schoolers
- Input God’s word: Speak the Word of God over the children, it will take root in their hearts.
“Train child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
“You shall write them (Bible verses) on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth.” Deuteronomy 11:20-21
- Show God’s love: Guiding them is now, when they are young. Because up till a certain point, they will form their own ideas and values.
- PTL: Play Touch Laugh (Laughter is a key thing in the house, because this provides security. Child will feel secure.)
- Build security (through relationships and love), significance (imparting purpose and character), and strength (managing failure and inspiring hope).
Invest in Your Marriage
Build your marriage first. It’s the foundation to being good parents. Children will model the household they see. They observe and feel the atmosphere.
- Investing in your marriage results in good parenting; reduces their issues (discipline, caring and sharing sibling rivalry, anger/tantrums- come from the parents).
- Unity as husband and wife, and as parents, is the best gift to your children (not gifts and money).
- Spending couple time with each other send a message that they (the children) are not the center of your universe.
- Dad should take leadership. Allow them to make mistakes.
“He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive,” 1 Timothy 3:4
Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. 1 Timothy 3:12
Character Building in Children
Children are sponges, observers, and imitators. Help them to
- model character values (fixed markers instead of moving markers like good grades and careers)
- develop a prayer life
What Character Qualities to Model?
- Connectedness (relationships and giving)
- Responsibility (own up mistake, truthful, the initiative, delay gratification, choose wisely)
- Reality (handle failures, accepting correction, admission of wrong, apologise)
- Competence (teach value of work, household chores, pursue a goal to completion (e.g. play an instrument and not quit)
- Conscience (clarity about right and wrong; honesty)
The following points are shared in the video of Dr Charles Stanley, (Touch ministries). The Speaker showed this video during the seminar, although he mentioned that he doesn’t fully subscribe to Dr Stanley’s other teachings.
What breaks a child’s spirit?
- We do not listen to them.
- Disciplining without explanation. They would not know what is going on, “Do my parents love me?”
- Ignoring opinions and requests (have person holding and deep emotions)
- Making them helpless and hopeless. Don’t belittle or demean them. Don’t compare.
- Using fearful words: always, never.
- Misdirected anger (taking out on child your own issues, motives not right).
- Criticise them even when they do their best.
- Failure to love them.
- Failure to provide good things for them to look forward to. Sending a message to the child that he is not worthy, doesn’t feel loved. It doesn’t matter what you give, nothing can substitute your love for that child.
- Check your motives. Why are you disciplining the child?
- Carefully explain the reason. Help them to understand why they’re being disciplined.
- Use a loving tone of voice
- Never discipline in anger. Get over your anger first before disciplining.
- Keep your promises
- Share your regret about having to discipline. But yet you have to discipline because you want to make them to be more Christ-like.
- Never do body to body discipline, for e.g. strike your hand or slap child’s face. (Speaker: If you have to hit, then go for the buttocks).
- Reassure them of your love.
Basically, remember that when a child throws tantrums, she is reacting to the situation. Teach your child how to deal with it. Everything happens when you are cool. Boundaries teach them independence and tolerant.
Baby Evangeline is starting her
terrible terrific two stage early. Or letting me have a foretaste of it–of having a mind of her own, and having a say in more and more things. I know in theory of what I’m not supposed to do, like not scold or discipline in anger, cool down first before disciplining. But put in real life situations, I have weak self control. I’m only human after all.
Am glad to know that a father in the panel shared that he do slip up and have broken good parenting practices at one time or another. Most importantly, the children are still close to him. So, forgive yourself for falling short. These young children tend to forgive and forget easily anyway. Of course, if you keep doing it, they will not forget. So don’t make bad choices a habit.
That’s all parents! I pray God will give you the wisdom and love to bring up godly and loving children. 🙂