By Joey and Carla Link
February 23, 2022
In our January 19th email we talked about what it looks like to consistently train your kids. How have you been doing since then with being consistent? When there isn’t a plan in place to help us be consistent in the training (both pro-active and re-active) of our kids, we all fall back on two things.
Every parent has a parenting toolbox full of things you use every day with your kids. The ones you grab first are the easiest to use, and they are reminders and lectures. Let me ask you something. Do they work? If not, then it is time to throw them away and replace them with something good, like the consistent training plan we mentioned before. When you remind your kids to do something, you are doing their thinking for them. They don’t have to remember what they are supposed to be doing because you have trained them to wait for your reminder. We were guilty of this in our parenting. The only beneficial time to use reminders is when you are training little ones to new behaviors.
There isn’t a good time to use lectures. Why? Because you are almost always telling your child in an unpleasant tone what he/she already knows. Get into the habit of giving consequences instead of lectures and reminders and you will see your kids’ behavior improve.
Giving your children consistent consequences really does hurt you more than it hurts them, but throughout the entire Bible, God clearly shows consequences are the effect of disobedience. Your child doesn’t do his chores? He loses the freedom of what he was doing instead of the chore. You teen doesn’t get ready for school on time? When he gets enough tardy’s, he will get detention. If you don’t stop bailing your kids out with reminders, who is going to do it for them when they get to college?
Replace reminders with encouragement. In the Zoom parenting class we were leading last night, we talked about the difference between praise and encouragement. Praise is telling them they did a good job. Encouragement is “giving them courage” to do a good job. When you can see your child isn’t sure he can accomplish something, tell him/her you know he can do it. That’s encouragement. When you see your child remembering to get his stuff done on his own initiative, tell him you noticed he did it on his own and did a great job. That’s praise. It is a new year. Out with the old (reminders) and in with the new (consistent training and consequences). You might be surprised at the changes you will see in your children’s behavior!
“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”Deuteronomy 6:6-7