In honor of mother’s day – Here are a few things I have discovered with my 4 kids that are helping me parent: God knows I do not do them all correctly all the time. But here is to doing it right today:
1- PRAY for your kids. Pray blessing, love, help, joy, peace. Pray specifically for what they have need of. Sometimes you need to pray to receive love your kids. PLEASE do not start a day without praying for grace from God for your kids. Pray, and declare God’s will over your kids. PRAYER is powerful and effective. Here is a great guide to print & pray over your kids: http://www.imom.com/tools/build-relationships/10-ways-to-pray-for-your-child-printable/
2- READ bible verses over your kids. Print this to help: http://www.circleofmoms.com/christian-mommies/scriptures-to-pray-over-your-children-259246
3- TO PARENTS: despite how you feel. NO YELLING to tell kids what to do, or what they did wrong. PERIOD. That is much harder done than said. Yelling produces yelling, anger, misunderstandings, abuse = not results. Believe me, others see it and it is NOT a good witness of Jesus to others.
4- Ask kids of any age to use words, not whining. Use, I can’t hear what you are saying when you whine, and please lower your voice. Don’t let the kids hear you whining about things… sometimes they are just copying our behavior. ouch. Pray don’t say.
5- When giving instructions follow up immediately with: “What did I say?” Ask them to Repeat the instructions. Make sure understand what you are asking of them and that they know the Clear consequences for disobeying this instruction. Follow through.
6- DO NOT “allow” kids to say no to you or throw a temper. It is soooo hard to follow up with this one sometimes. BUT the minute you let it go… they notice and take advantage of you. Kids learn your response and push until they get the response they want!!!!! Sometimes we just laugh it off, ignore the behavior hoping it will go away….or we are in public or too tired with a baby nursing in our laps to follow up. Do your best. When they say no “ask, what do we say to mom, yes or no?” LET YOUR NO BE NO. Sometimes they just need to eat or sleep. Know the difference, but even still allow NO temper tantrums.
7- It takes 5 years to teach kids love, obedience, sharing, foundations for life and principles of Christian living, The 1st 5 years are the absorbent years – don’t let them just learn natural values: (pre-school training). TEACH them about Jesus, bible stories and principles to build their life on. Start at least as soon as they can talk. Teach, train, release
8- Discipline for direct disobedience & defiance. Never discipline while angry!!!! Take a time out, then continue discipline. IF you are angry, STOP!!! Take a prayer break and get calm. Always spend more time loving and approving after discipline than on actual discipline. IF YOU ONLY DISCIPLINE and DO NOT LOVE 2x’s as much after…. you are making a BIG mistake. The kids need to be told they are NOT a bad child! Tell them: they did make a mistake and the mistake was a bad decision, but THEY are not bad. Kids need to know we LOVE them especially after we have disciplined them. Don’t leave them in mental punishment because they were bad…. they will act out what you say they are. We need to watch what we say when our kids are defiant to us… it marks them for life.
9- If a verbal fight breaks out with kids. Ask them to: Start over and speak respectfully. If one comes tattling on the other about verbal Fights – ask the child : did u ask them to settle difference while speaking kindly? – If not, ask the child to go back and retry…. IF that doesn’t work then you can step in. Teach them to handle things.
10- Use: How many minutes technique IF there is a fight over using the same toy, thing ect. Ask the child who does not have it currently to ask the other politely “How many minutes until I can use that? (YOU Give proper time limits to choose from – but let them choose the time)”. usually, they give it up before the time they chose. They just wanted control over it.
11- Rethink Time outs: Add prayer to Change your attitude-time outs!!!!! Teach the children that their attitude is a choice and they need God to help them. Ask them to go on time out to pray and ask God to help them- They cannot come out without a changed face and new attitude. If they have the attitude again, send them back to time out. We might need to use this one on ourselves too!!!
12- Discipline for attitude first. – and then actions. Attitude always precedes action. Watch attitudes. Even your own.
13- JESUS said “Let the children come to me”. PLEASE don’t be too busy for your kids. It doesn’t last – take the time. Pick them up now, Let them sit on your lap and cuddle now, play with them now. Have the same attitude as Jesus. Ask them about things, take time to talk, ask them how they are feeling and if their heart is sad. FIND out about things happening at class by asking them!
14- Children are a mirror and magnification of our own attitudes. Just let that one sink in a bit.
15- Pray when kids get hurt. Instead of kissing the boo boo ….Pray first when kids get hurt. Then offer kisses and band aids. Jesus is our healer… it is so simple to teach.
16- MODEL the fact that Church is not an optional thing for your family. YOUR goal is not to force them to go to church, but to be excited about going yourself. Don’t ask them if they “feel” like going…. WE don’t live by our feelings. If you have excuses why you don’t go, so will they. If it is an option for you… it will be an option for them when they grow up. Being a Christian is who we are, not what we do.
17- Don’t FORCE them to DO Christian things, but reward them when they do, if we will give rewards for chores, potty training, school work… why not for Christian disciplines….. DO NOT FORCE THEM TO DO IT> but model it and testify of the changes it makes in you – tell your kids your story of Gods rescuing you. Let them see you read the bible and pray.
18 -MODEL forgiveness. IF you make a mistake say you are sorry and ASK for forgiveness. If kid does something wrong- from age 12 months and on…. teach them to say 1- they were wrong, 2- I’m sorry 3- will you please forgive me OUTLOUD to the other child. If child hurt-even if by mistake add, I’m sorry, and GO HELP other person and then have child pray immediately for healing for hurt child.
Always let these three be linked together: I’m sorry, I was wrong, will you u please forgive me for______? Don’t let them skip will you forgive me…. Ask kids to hug each other…. for real. giggling always happens.
Teach your other child to choose to forgive – forgiveness is a choice – we always forgive others because Jesus always forgives us.
19- Obedience is expected from the time they learn to crawl. YOU are the only one that can teach it properly. Expect obedience. Start very small and keep teaching and expecting obedience – demand it by 12 mo of age. Kids can learn by 2 to sit, stay, eat, obey, listen, ect.
20- LAUGH, have FUN, Play, Enjoy LIFE with your kids!!
HOW Can we find time to do all this? (This section adapted from training I have received)
Work on being a leader. Never stop learning. Model these things yourself.
Maintain your own healthy attitudes.
Strive for better – ask, vision cast & model – but do not let the realities of where you are open the door to bitterness, envy or anger.
Maintain healthy boundaries. Here’s what I’ve learned is never complete. I must maintain for the health of my body, my mind and my relationships. Define what these are for you and keep these boundaries.
Maintain healthy habits. The complexities of motherhood require strong leadership. Because of this, maintain the habits necessary to lead well and continue growing as a mother. If you do not grow yourself and develop your own attitudes you will either not lead your kids for very long, or it will, in fact, become childcare.
Many have said:
“Give me just one righteous generation of youth and I will transform the whole world.”
Consider that Jesus said:
“…the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.” (meaning they model
the very type of faith that all of us should embody.).
If this is true: Why wouldn’t our spiritual enemies make motherhood as challenging as possible?
So should all of this discourage us? Not at all. Quite the opposite, I want to encourage you as a parent and leader to continue on! Do your best. That is all God asks. All your efforts are worthwhile! – you are my heroes!
Do you have any tips to add?