Joey and Carla Link
August 2012, December 2018
I have never heard of anyone talk of time spent pulling weeds in their yard as time they enjoyed. Time well spent perhaps, but certainly not enjoyed, especially as it is usually a chore done under the hot summer sun.
Joey is the gardener in our family. We don’t have a garden per se, but he fills the borders around the yard with his treasured vegetables. For years we traveled all summer with our ministry to families as our kids were out of school then. We would come home every 3 weeks or so to catch up on mail, bills and other things. This was before you could carry the internet around on your cell phone.
One time on our trip home, Joey didn’t have time to weed his vegetables so he asked me to do it for him. I went out and took a look at one patch and it looked to me like the weeds had taken over so I got the weed-eater out and took care of them. As you can imagine, I still haven’t lived it down.
On our next trip home the weeds had come back up. My husband patiently (okay, maybe not so patiently) explained that they had come back up because I had not taken the time to pull them by their roots. I just whacked them across the tops. The results may have temporarily looked good, but the results were not satisfactorily permanent. The vegetables didn’t come back up, but the weeds sure did.
- Are you parenting the symptoms in your kids? What do we mean by symptoms? They are the behaviors you see such as running in the house, not getting their chores done again, the pets aren’t fed and so on. Dealing with symptoms only is not training them for the long term goal of becoming Godly, successful adults.
- Deal with the roots. When you parent the symptoms you see each day, even though you may be giving consequences (whacking the weeds) the bad behaviors keep coming back up because you haven’t dealt with the roots. What are the roots? They are character traits God instructs us to live by in the Bible, such as patience, kindness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
- Roots take proactive training to get them to grow into healthy plants. What do we mean by “pro-active training”? “Pro-active” means you have a plan to “control a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened.” Instead of yelling at your child when he hits his sister, you have a plan to teach your kids how to be kind and respectful to each other.
Once you have a plan in place and you have worked with your kids on how to be kind, then you need to encourage them when they are and correct them when they aren’t.
We have a Mom’s Notes presentation titled “Using the Bible in the Instruction and Training of Your Children” that will help you get ideas on how to proactively train your children in Biblical character traits. We also have Mom’s Notes presentations titled “Understanding Character Training, Pt.1 Laying the Foundation and Pt. 2 Getting to the Heart of Your Child.”
Pull those weeds up by the roots!
Joey & Carla
The following are resources For you on getting to the heart of your child you can find in our bookstore!
- “Using the Bible in the Instruction and Training of Your Children”
- “Understanding Character Training, Pt. 1 Laying the Foundation”
- “Understanding Character Training Pt. 2 Getting to the Heart of Your Child”
For Instruction in Righteousness by Pam Forster