Discussion in 'Family Forum' started by bockman, Jun 9, 2004.

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  1. bockman

    bockman Inactive User

    I'm a first time dad with the proud job of rearing our wonderful, now 15month old, son -with my wife of course. I'm wondering if there are any wise parents who might remember this stage in their childs development or have read any 'good' books on it with some sage advise for me.

    I'm particularly worried about spanking and such. We are trying to be as consistant as we can be with particular things that we've decided on, but are not sure how to get our message accross with the little nipper. His strong willfullness (he got from his mom) and short temper (that he got from his dad) are beginning to be very evident and worrisome.
  2. dado6

    dado6 Puritan Board Freshman

    HI Darren,
    I recommend a wonderful book that talks about these issues and also addresses spanking in Godly terms. It speaks volumes about children's behavior and how to work to understand God's perspective regarding child-rearing. It's called Shepherding a child's heart by Tedd Tripp..I found it very inspiring and doable. God Bless
  3. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

  4. Scot

    Scot Puritan Board Sophomore

    I would highly recommend "Shepherding A Child's Heart" by Tripp as well.

    There's also one called "Spanking: Why? When? How?" by Roy Lessin. They're both available from Cumberland Valley Bible Book Service. www.cvbbs.com

    Both of these are excellent.
  5. George Bailey

    George Bailey Puritan Board Freshman

    I'm currently reading "Age of Opportunity" by Ted's brother Paul Tripp...it's oriented towards raising teenagers, but many of the foundational concepts in it are applicable to parents of all children...and I wish that I had found it earlier.

    A couple of the nuggets that i've found are: 1-not focusing on child's external behavior, but on developing your child's heart and 2: Look at your own parenting "idols" (i.e. like that your children must behave certain ways for you to be successful, and thus 'Godly', etc.).

  6. sailorswife

    sailorswife Puritan Board Freshman

    Another good book is "Withhold Not Correction" by Bruce Ray, he is a reformed Baptist pastor.

    Discipline is not an easy job, I struggle daily with trying to parent my children in a godly manner, and frankly I fail quite often. I have a very strong willed son (almost 3 years old) and a 10 month old daughter, so I know how you are struggling. I read "The Strong Willed Child" by Dobson also, and though most reformed people don't like him, one good thing I got out of that book is to stay in control yourself, don't let the child see that he is upseting you. They need to see that you are in control. Also praise him a lot when he is behaving himself and try to teach him in non-conflict times. For our son keeping him on a tight schedule has helped a lot with tantrums, and feeding him regularly has helped with that also. Often tantrums come when they are overtired and/or hungry. Tell your wife she is not alone, I understand what she is going through!

  7. Scot

    Scot Puritan Board Sophomore

    feeding him regularly has helped with that also. Often tantrums come when they are overtired and/or hungry.

    Good observations. Also, what you give them to eat is just as important as how often. Being into alternative health and counseling people on nutrition, I've seen people who load their kids up on kool aid, junky snack foods, etc. and then wonder why their children are hyper-active or do not listen. It's not too hard to figure out! It's not a ritalin deficiency! Sometimes hidden food allergies can also play a role in the child's behaviour. (not that these things are an excuse for sin)

  8. bockman

    bockman Inactive User

    Thank you so much for the recommendations everyone. I will definately pick up some of that reading material. I have been shying away from books on parenting as it seemed everyone had their favorite parenting 'technique' from the latest popular author full of 'modern thinking' on these issues that I was finding troublesome...But I know I can trust you folks's recommendations.

    >one good thing I got out of that book is to stay in control yourself

    This is what troubles me the most. I'm generally not a very good example for my son. I'm praying for God to continue to work in me in that regard, and am trying to do my part, but it's very hard.
  9. govols

    govols Puritan Board Junior

    Another good book ...

    Shepherding A Child's Heart has to be the best book out there. My wife and I have read that many times and we love it.

    Another good book is, "To Train Up A Child" by Michael and Debbi Pearl.


    They aren't Ammish but live in the community. They take a stricter lean on discipline (spanking) than what my family does but the book is great. We do spank and believe in it but they go the extra mile, per se. That is fine for them and other parents may not spank as much as my family but that is up to the two of you.

    It is a cheap book and short.

    One thing we do as a family, as others do I'm sure, is to #1 never spank in anger. I did once and had to get on my knees and beg my daughter for forgiveness.

    Ask them why they think they are getting a spanking and let them know if they don't know. Let them know how many they are getting (some like more in number swift spankings, some like fewer powerful spankings). We always have a time of restoration, per se. Love on them. If it is a sin that was committed then they not only need to be displined by you but they sinned against the almighty and sovereign God, the One who created them.

    A good thing that we do as a family is role playing, per se. We practiced many times before we brought our children into the Church service. Probably about 15 times of sitting in a folding chair beside them while they colored, read and sat quietly for what we built up to be an hour. We can tell our children how to act but it is a little easier if we practice it with them. Shaking hands and acknowledging someone when they speak to your child. Have someone practice that with them. Looking into someone's eyes when they speak to them, etc. etc. It takes time out of my day to do this but it isn't mine to begin with. :) And what better investment to make than teaching your children God's Holy Word. We also have a box shaped as a heart that we put our memory verses in after we learn them with the children. So they can hide it in their hearts.

    Sorry, I seem to defend myself a lot at work when things like this come up with parents who want to be their children's friends first and foremost.
  10. humble_soul

    humble_soul Puritan Board Freshman

    Among parents, I'm not sure there is a more debated subject than this.

    The bottom line is that every child is different and the parenting situation should be taylored to that child. It's good to try different things to see what they respond to best. The best thing you can do is spend as much time as possible with your children and teach them. Not just with words and "rules", but with your behavior. I think they learn by example more than anything else.

    Also, never underestimate the power of prayer in dealing with children. (I mean, for yourself AND them).
  11. ChristianasJourney

    ChristianasJourney Puritan Board Sophomore

    Well said, Humble Soul!

    I think that most parents get lost in techniques. Techniques only work if they're built on the right foundation. I can spank a child and get an immediate reaction, because they can see by my attitude that I'm serious about correcting their behavior. But in most cases it probably wouldn't matter if I spanked or not, because it's my attitude that's really conveying my message.

    Children who are very sensitive to you and want to make you happy often only need a mild correction. Children who are independant and rebellious need more than just a spanking, they need your continual presence in their life--to be staked to your side--so they learn how to look at life, how to be like you, how to differentiate between right and wrong. Of course, you have to be a good example. How can you expect them to behave if you have behavior problems too? You'll only be acting like a hypocrite, and in my opinion that's really the root of most teen problems.
  12. govols

    govols Puritan Board Junior


    You are correct that each child is a little different but one thing about them that is not is their black sinful heart. It is the same in each child.

    Deuteronomy 6:6 - 6:9 is a great group of verses but it is meaningless unless you know God's Word for yourself. Teach it to them every chance you can. It's a hard thing to do but we are to run the race with endurance.

    We don't spank all the time or most of the time or a little of the time. But sometimes it seems to come in spurts. We also don't spank for everything. It isn't needed. Dobson won't agree wholly with God's word when it comes to spanking ([b:0b512d455c][u:0b512d455c]My opinion[/u:0b512d455c][/b:0b512d455c]). I believe he has too much pyschology, which is his background, intermingled with his scripture reading. Some people may disagree and that's okay. Many people don't have the same perspective when it comes to discipline but God's Word does not waiver one bit. Go to it.

    I [i:0b512d455c][b:0b512d455c]definitely [/b:0b512d455c][/i:0b512d455c]don't have all the answers when it comes to discipline nor does anyone else in this board but you can get some good ideas and go to scripture to see if they are valid and use them for yourself. This works with most things (Some things you don't have to go to God's Word to validate). Homeschooling is another thing that you can get good ideas from others.

    I definitely agree that sometimes you have keep them by your side most of the day. My wife did that to our oldest daughter.

    It is all about their heart. We must pray and ask God to cleanse their hearts and make them new.
  13. Scot

    Scot Puritan Board Sophomore

    [quote:431633b905]Dobson won't agree wholly with God's word when it comes to spanking (My opinion). I believe he has too much pyschology, which is his background, intermingled with his scripture reading.[/quote:431633b905]

    I'll second that.
  14. a mere housewife

    a mere housewife Not your cup of tea

    [quote:7c305a776f]One thing we do as a family, as others do I'm sure, is to #1 never spank in anger.[/quote:7c305a776f]

    I think that you are right about that. It has a hugely undermning effect for a child to be disciplined by an adult who is not disciplining himself. It is easy to write the discipline off as unjust, and it is much, much easier for the child to harden his heart against the discipline, and against the parents' displeasure. It is the wrong kind of fear to instill, that ends up doing more to cast out love if it becomes a major factor in discipline, than the other way around.

    I have seen parents who are not in very good control of themselves disciplining children for throwing a tantrum: "Get a hold of yourself" in a voice that is not very controlled is ineffective, and makes it even harder for a tender hearted child to calm down.

    I didn't do well on this when we had custody of the eleven yr. old. I resorted to anger because I thought the discipline was taking too long to have any effect on his behaviour, and that he wasn't properly afraid of doing wrong (and he wasn't-- neither am I, though); and I discouraged him, and lost some of the influence I could have had. I hope I do better next time, if we get a next time :).
  15. dkicklig

    dkicklig Puritan Board Freshman

    The number one question my wife and I have learned to asked before disciplining our children is "Did I enable, or put them in a situation to sin?" When the kids are tired the last thing we should do is go out to eat or shopping. You are just asking for trouble.

    Another example is where the kids have made a huge mess and you repeatedly tell them to clean it up. After repeated threats :rant: you get angry and end up spanking in anger. For a 2 and 5 year old the mess is too much for them to handle. The best thing to do is get down on the floor and help them clean it up...it works every time and the kids enjoy the 5 minutes of playing "who can pick up the most toys the fastest"

    Our kids can sin enough on their own, they don't need any help from us.

    Our kids also know that there are sins that receive immediate punishment:
    1. Lying
    2. Tantrums because they don't get their way
    3. What my mom liked to call "Backsass"
  16. govols

    govols Puritan Board Junior


    I would think a 5 year old would be old enough to pick up a mess by themselves. My 4 year old does (not meaning that in any way). Does he sometimes not want to? Of course not, I sometimes don't want to clean up the things I get out. We just moved a few months back and my basement has boxes everywhere. I still don't want to clean it up.

    My 6 year old goes at it a little slower sometimes.

    We try to remind them that the more they get out the longer it is going to take to clean up. We have a timer for both of them. They do about 45 minutes of room time where they can read or play with a few things on their own while my wife has time for herself. When the timer goes off they then set the timer for 10 minutes for them to clean up their rooms.

    That is just one thing that has worked for us.

    My 1 1/2 year old on the other hand is a different story. He will help when he sees you picking up toys and putting them in a box, for example, but as soon as the toys are up and the box is full then it is time to get them out again. What fun. :think:
  17. govols

    govols Puritan Board Junior

    Huge mess

    Ah, I missed the HUGE mess that you put there in your posting. Their are times to help and times to let them do it on their own.

    With my four year old son we have to have him look us in the eye as we give him directions, per se, on what he needs to do b/c he will start to go do something that we told him and he will bypass a toy that has been missing for a while and start playing with it, get out the legos to make landing strip and a hangar, and ...

    Sounds too much like his daddy. Gotta go, something shiny ....
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