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How do I maintain consistency in discipline?

Child punishment

How do I maintain consistency in my discipline?

How do I respond to disobedience or behavior issues?

The key to maintaining consistency in discipline is maintaining consistencies in everyday activities. Talking with your children and spending quality time with them will help you build a relationship with your child.  A wonderful parenting principle I learned at a conference was, “Rules without a relationship will always lead to rebellion.” Isn’t it so true that when you have a healthy relationship with your child, spouse, boss, or others that you have an open forum to communicate together.

Create a Rhythm
As I observe my five children, I have learned that when schedules get busy and life  is just about doing one activity after another, we have more arguments. Stay in tuned with your families schedules. Being a good parent could mean that everyone takes a season off from activities and focuses on each other and creating an environment that encourages good behavior.

Here are some action steps you can take:

  • Play a game and talk about being a good friend and responding to others when they aren’t nice.
  • Take time to cook dinner together and talk about how school is going.
    • Talk about the ups and downs of the school day.
    • What are your most enjoyable classes? Why?
    • When do you have the hardest time listening? Why?

Fight for the Heart
Having a relationship will be so helpful when you try to make a consistent discipline plan and it will help you respond when there are behavior issues. My 7 year old came home with a bad report from school and I was so disappointed. I read what his teacher wrote and then asked him how he felt about that week. I have to say, I needed some time to process through what needed to be done.

So, I called my husband and we decided as a team how to respond. We knew that he hadn’t responded well during reading groups based on the note and had noticed that he wasn’t very confident when reading at home. After talking with him, we realized that reading was a big frustration for him, so we made a plan. He was punished for his behavior because that is never an acceptable way to respond. Then, we made sure that we took extra time reading with him daily. This not only helped him the next week at school, but he was excited about the plan.

Here are some action steps you can take:

  • When you encounter a discipline issue, sit down and make a plan
  • If you’re married, be consistent by agreeing on a plan together
  • Share that plan with your child.
    • Let them know what they are expected to do
    • Let them know what they can expect from you
    • Remind them that you are a team and your goal is to help them win

Parenting is such a hard job, because you can never have all the answers. Seeking God and asking for wisdom, praying for your children, and building relationships with them is our key for success. We are far from figuring it all out, but definitely have figured a formula that helps.

Take time to know your children. Knowing what they enjoy and how they respond to life challenges will help you teach and direct them. Remember sometimes you have to change your discipline plan as they change. What worked last year may not still work today. We can only do it with the help of our Lord. Learn to seek and lean on Him and He will help direct your steps.

Hope Hall is an amazing mom of 5 and Elementary fpKIDS Coordinator at our Blount Campus. 

How do I maintain consistency in discipline?

Child punishment

How do I maintain consistency in my discipline?

How do I respond to disobedience or behavior issues?

The key to maintaining consistency in discipline is maintaining consistencies in everyday activities. Talking with your children and spending quality time with them will help you build a relationship with your child.  A wonderful parenting principle I learned at a conference was, “Rules without a relationship will always lead to rebellion.” Isn’t it so true that when you have a healthy relationship with your child, spouse, boss, or others that you have an open forum to communicate together.

Create a Rhythm
As I observe my five children, I have learned that when schedules get busy and life  is just about doing one activity after another, we have more arguments. Stay in tuned with your families schedules. Being a good parent could mean that everyone takes a season off from activities and focuses on each other and creating an environment that encourages good behavior.

Here are some action steps you can take:

  • Play a game and talk about being a good friend and responding to others when they aren’t nice.
  • Take time to cook dinner together and talk about how school is going.
    • Talk about the ups and downs of the school day.
    • What are your most enjoyable classes? Why?
    • When do you have the hardest time listening? Why?

Fight for the Heart
Having a relationship will be so helpful when you try to make a consistent discipline plan and it will help you respond when there are behavior issues. My 7 year old came home with a bad report from school and I was so disappointed. I read what his teacher wrote and then asked him how he felt about that week. I have to say, I needed some time to process through what needed to be done.

So, I called my husband and we decided as a team how to respond. We knew that he hadn’t responded well during reading groups based on the note and had noticed that he wasn’t very confident when reading at home. After talking with him, we realized that reading was a big frustration for him, so we made a plan. He was punished for his behavior because that is never an acceptable way to respond. Then, we made sure that we took extra time reading with him daily. This not only helped him the next week at school, but he was excited about the plan.

Here are some action steps you can take:

  • When you encounter a discipline issue, sit down and make a plan
  • If you’re married, be consistent by agreeing on a plan together
  • Share that plan with your child.
    • Let them know what they are expected to do
    • Let them know what they can expect from you
    • Remind them that you are a team and your goal is to help them win

Parenting is such a hard job, because you can never have all the answers. Seeking God and asking for wisdom, praying for your children, and building relationships with them is our key for success. We are far from figuring it all out, but definitely have figured a formula that helps.

Take time to know your children. Knowing what they enjoy and how they respond to life challenges will help you teach and direct them. Remember sometimes you have to change your discipline plan as they change. What worked last year may not still work today. We can only do it with the help of our Lord. Learn to seek and lean on Him and He will help direct your steps.

Hope Hall is an amazing mom of 5 and Elementary fpKIDS Coordinator at our Blount Campus. 

Question from the Parenting Trenches: “How do I deal with my child’s anger?”

Young girl indoors cryingOur emotions are an amazing quality that God invested in each one of us. Some people’s emotions ride a little closer to the surface than others… but believe it or not, we all have them. Our kids have them too.  You don’t have to be a scholar to know that.

Here’s a great question from a parent that I believe is common to many.

Our 4 year old has recently been very angry. What are some ways to help him with this?

Hope Hall is our fpKIDS Elementary Coordinator at the Blount Campus. As a mother of 5, she is well versed in the emotions of kids and how to help them work through them.  Here is what Hope had to share…

I would start with prayer. I am a mother of 5 so I can tell you from experience that all children are different. They respond differently to circumstances and act out their frustrations differently. I would pray that God would reveal to you through conversations with him and through His word (the Bible) just what is the root of the anger. This would give you a great place to start.

My 6 year old doesn’t like to be told no. He acts out (especially in public) when he is told that he can’t have something or can’t do something that he has decided he should be able to have or do. So, we now have conversations before entering the store about what my expectations are. How I expect him to act and respond. I also decide before hand on what the consequence will be if I don’t get that behavior.

I have noticed that being positive and praising him is what helps him make wise choices with his behavior. So, if it’s been busy around the house and he hasn’t received as much attention then those are times when I notice he seems to act out more. I can solve that by just spending some quality time with him reading a book or playing a game. While giving him my full attention we talk about why he responds in anger and how we should respond in different situations. I also love to attach everything with a bible verse. I love to show him how God answers my prayers through his Word. We sometimes memorize the verses together so that I can give him a friendly reminder the next time we are in the situation.

There are 4 great tactics we learn from Hope’s insight.

1.  Set Expectations
When kids know what’s expected, they have an easier time meeting them. Holding kids accountable for their behavior is an important reality of life. You set them up to win when you tell them in advance what you will hold them accountable to.

2.  Have a Plan
Already have a response planned out in your mind.  If your child decides to disobey or act out, you should already know what you’re going to do.  Don’t leave it up to chance. When you do, you’re more likely to act out of anger or make threats you can’t deliver.

3. Observe
Watch for factors that contribute to your child’s response. Do you see a pattern? What can you do to change the pattern? Or to better prepare your child for the impact?

4. Praise
Catch them doing what you want them to do. Some of the best words to invest in your child’s heart are “I notice you…”; “I always love when you…”; “I’m so thankful you…” These words spoken consistently over time will affirm your child.

Question from the Parenting Trenches: “How do I deal with my child’s anger?”

Young girl indoors cryingOur emotions are an amazing quality that God invested in each one of us. Some people’s emotions ride a little closer to the surface than others… but believe it or not, we all have them. Our kids have them too.  You don’t have to be a scholar to know that.

Here’s a great question from a parent that I believe is common to many.

Our 4 year old has recently been very angry. What are some ways to help him with this?

Hope Hall is our fpKIDS Elementary Coordinator at the Blount Campus. As a mother of 5, she is well versed in the emotions of kids and how to help them work through them.  Here is what Hope had to share…

I would start with prayer. I am a mother of 5 so I can tell you from experience that all children are different. They respond differently to circumstances and act out their frustrations differently. I would pray that God would reveal to you through conversations with him and through His word (the Bible) just what is the root of the anger. This would give you a great place to start.

My 6 year old doesn’t like to be told no. He acts out (especially in public) when he is told that he can’t have something or can’t do something that he has decided he should be able to have or do. So, we now have conversations before entering the store about what my expectations are. How I expect him to act and respond. I also decide before hand on what the consequence will be if I don’t get that behavior.

I have noticed that being positive and praising him is what helps him make wise choices with his behavior. So, if it’s been busy around the house and he hasn’t received as much attention then those are times when I notice he seems to act out more. I can solve that by just spending some quality time with him reading a book or playing a game. While giving him my full attention we talk about why he responds in anger and how we should respond in different situations. I also love to attach everything with a bible verse. I love to show him how God answers my prayers through his Word. We sometimes memorize the verses together so that I can give him a friendly reminder the next time we are in the situation.

There are 4 great tactics we learn from Hope’s insight.

1.  Set Expectations
When kids know what’s expected, they have an easier time meeting them. Holding kids accountable for their behavior is an important reality of life. You set them up to win when you tell them in advance what you will hold them accountable to.

2.  Have a Plan
Already have a response planned out in your mind.  If your child decides to disobey or act out, you should already know what you’re going to do.  Don’t leave it up to chance. When you do, you’re more likely to act out of anger or make threats you can’t deliver.

3. Observe
Watch for factors that contribute to your child’s response. Do you see a pattern? What can you do to change the pattern? Or to better prepare your child for the impact?

4. Praise
Catch them doing what you want them to do. Some of the best words to invest in your child’s heart are “I notice you…”; “I always love when you…”; “I’m so thankful you…” These words spoken consistently over time will affirm your child.

The Discipline of Thankfulness

(This post was written by Gina McClain, Director of Children’s Ministries)

Discipline is not one of my favorite terms.  I bristle a little when I hear it.  I understand the need for discipline, however, applying discipline in my own life inspires some resistance.

But the definition of discipline is “an activity or exercise that develops or improves a skill”.

Well, when you put it that way… I guess, discipline can get a bad rap.

Last week my husband and I read an article in Thriving Family Magazine about teaching our kids the discipline of being thankful.  In a world where we tend to focus more on what we don’t have rather than what we have, thankfulness is a lost art.  Just stick your kids in front of Saturday morning cartoons for any amount of time and a sense of deprivation creeps in with every toy commercial they watch!

November is a great opportunity to spend time teaching our kids (and reminding ourselves) to acknowledge the ways God provides for us.

Here are a few activities you could do at home:

  • Basket of Thanks (great for elementary kids): have a stack of cards w/ a small basket at your dinner table.  Each time you sit down to dinner together, take the first few minutes, grab a card, and write down one way God blessed you that day.  On Thanksgiving Day you can review the cards and be reminded of the many ways God crept into your life to remind you of His love.
  • He Meets My Needs (great for preschoolers):  Create a small pile in your living room made up of blankets, toys, clothes, video games, socks, shoes, etc.  As a family, sort each item into one of two categories:  NEED & WANT.  Talk about some of the items that land in the ‘want’ pile.  Sometimes these can seem like a ‘need’ yet they are not.

Discipline vs. Punishment

(This post was written by Michael Wallace, High School Pastor)

“Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands… know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.” -Deuteronomy 8:2, 5

For a long time, I thought the word “discipline” was a bad thing.  I saw discipline as a synonym of “punishment,” but I had an immature understanding of God’s discipline.  Punishment is our payment for stepping out of line, but discipline is God’s way of correcting our mistakes in love.  As the verses above state, God protected the Israelites while He led them in the desert.  He didn’t punish them externally, but He intentionally walked them through the process of understanding what they did wrong in an attempt to correct the internal issue.

I have tried to model this with my son, Colt.  When I was growing up, my dad would always say the same thing when he disciplined me: “Because I love you, I have to make you obey.”  Now that I have a child of my own I completely get it! I even added a second line to the phrase: “Colt, because you love me, you must choose to obey.”  When we view discipline as correction with love and not punishment without purpose, we see our kids the way God sees us.

How does this happen?  Remember, punishment is a reaction and discipline is a response.  We have to be intentional when correcting our kids not to snap into punishment mode but to come alongside them and identify the internal problem while delivering the external consequences.