Guest Post- Parenting the Next Generation- Part Three by Annie
By Annie Spell
"Love is patient, Love is kind...Love always protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres." 1 Cor. 13:8-9
"If you forgive others...your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you don't forgive others, then your Heavenly Father won't forgive you..." Matt. 6:14-15
Parenting always seemed to me to be a choice of whether I would react or respond when our girls misbehaved or simply made a mistake. There were many days when I screamed back at them, and other days when I got it right and held them close to comfort them after I had to administer "the board of education to the seat of learning." I don't think any of us get it right all the time when dealing with their kids. I wanted my kids to be perfect, and that was unreasonable. I had to learn to relax and enjoy them at each stage of their lives.
There were many days when I screamed back at them...
One thing that David and I did was to agree on HOW we would discipline. This was actually easier for me when they were young- you throw a fit, you will feel the consequences NO MATTER if it was inconvenient to me at the time. I left grocery carts and went to the car with them to "explain" that their behavior wasn't acceptable. Kids HAVE to know you love them enough to correct them!
The challenge as a parent is to NOT LOSE YOUR MIND in the heat of the moment...
As they got older, they grew wiser and more disciplined. At that point, it made more sense to remove privileges than to administer the rod of correction. The challenge as a parent is to NOT LOSE YOUR MIND in the heat of the moment when your kid is testing his/her boundaries. This really is a parent's biggest challenge, keeping your cool and really loving and forgiving our children when they do the wrong thing. I have seen many parents give unreasonable "groundings" that caused more family strife than the actual issue. Talk to your spouse or whoever is helping you raise your kids and come up with a game plan. This will help in the heat of the moment because you have already created a policy about how you are going to handle the issue. If they do "A" then the consequences are "B." This eliminates a lot of drama. Talk about their discipline after everyone has calmed down.
One thing that David and I did was to agree on HOW we would discipline.
One major component to raising children who love and trust their parents is the ability to say to each other, "I am sorry, I was wrong, would you please forgive me?" Teaching our children to give and receive forgiveness is an important life skill. It's not easy and every parent won't agree with that statement, but it was a key to keeping peace in our home.
Two final thoughts: I really believe that making our church and our faith priorities were keys to raising our now successful and prospering adult children. We did not always get it right and our kids would be the first to point that out! Growing up as a part of healthy church, though, kept them around other kids who were going in the same direction that they were in. It also brought them under the influence of other adults who loved them and cared for them.
What are some other tips that you would pass along to parents?
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