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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. 

Raising Boys: Good guys vs. Bad guys

Portrait Of Two Young BoysRaising boys is filled with challenges. Personally I’ve got two. Both are very different in personality. Yet in some ways they are very similar.  The following question from our Marriage and Parent Summit hits home for me. And I deeply value the response.

My 2 year old is into good guys vs bad guys earlier than I would like. I want him to like stories without conflict like Curious George.

We live in a society riddled with violence. Movies, television and video games continue to numb our society to the effects of death. The permanency of death is removed with a reset button. As a result, we have children growing up with a lack of regard for life.

Despite our efforts to protect our young men from the hostility in the world around us, we are not able to change how they are created. If you have a boy or have been around boys, as soon as they can pick up a stick, it quickly becomes a gun or sword. “Bang Bang” is not something they have to be taught. They are created in the image of their heavenly Father and he is a warrior! (Exodus 15:3)

The man after God’s own heart, David, was a warrior. He loved God and had a relationship with him like no other. He fought the bad guys, he defended Israel, he stood firm in battle. And God loved him for it.

There is obviously an unhealthy focus on violence, and we see the effects of that in our world. The answer is not trying to change how your son was created.

Rather, we need to teach our sons about honor and integrity.

We need to teach our sons to value life.

To always protect and defend the weak.

Our children quickly learn that there are good guys and bad guys. Those two groups of people will exist until Jesus returns. We have a responsibility to teach them that their battle is not with flesh and blood (Eph. 6:12), but we can’t remove their desire to fight the battle!

This results in weak men who don’t know their identity in Christ.

I want my boys to grow up to be men who fiercely love God, love their families and are willing to fight the battles they face in life.

I want them to know they were created to be warriors for the kingdom. If the natural manifestation of that is running around the yard killing the bad guys, I’m okay with that.

Katie Linkous is the mother of 2 boys and 2 girls. Her experiences as a mom have drawn her deeper into God’s word as a source of wisdom and direction for her family. Katie serves as a volunteer leader on the fpKIDS team at the Pellissippi Campus at Faith Promise.  She and her husband, Clay, have been part of the Faith Promise family for two years.

Raising Boys: Good guys vs. Bad guys

Portrait Of Two Young BoysRaising boys is filled with challenges. Personally I’ve got two. Both are very different in personality. Yet in some ways they are very similar.  The following question from our Marriage and Parent Summit hits home for me. And I deeply value the response.

My 2 year old is into good guys vs bad guys earlier than I would like. I want him to like stories without conflict like Curious George.

We live in a society riddled with violence. Movies, television and video games continue to numb our society to the effects of death. The permanency of death is removed with a reset button. As a result, we have children growing up with a lack of regard for life.

Despite our efforts to protect our young men from the hostility in the world around us, we are not able to change how they are created. If you have a boy or have been around boys, as soon as they can pick up a stick, it quickly becomes a gun or sword. “Bang Bang” is not something they have to be taught. They are created in the image of their heavenly Father and he is a warrior! (Exodus 15:3)

The man after God’s own heart, David, was a warrior. He loved God and had a relationship with him like no other. He fought the bad guys, he defended Israel, he stood firm in battle. And God loved him for it.

There is obviously an unhealthy focus on violence, and we see the effects of that in our world. The answer is not trying to change how your son was created.

Rather, we need to teach our sons about honor and integrity.

We need to teach our sons to value life.

To always protect and defend the weak.

Our children quickly learn that there are good guys and bad guys. Those two groups of people will exist until Jesus returns. We have a responsibility to teach them that their battle is not with flesh and blood (Eph. 6:12), but we can’t remove their desire to fight the battle!

This results in weak men who don’t know their identity in Christ.

I want my boys to grow up to be men who fiercely love God, love their families and are willing to fight the battles they face in life.

I want them to know they were created to be warriors for the kingdom. If the natural manifestation of that is running around the yard killing the bad guys, I’m okay with that.

Katie Linkous is the mother of 2 boys and 2 girls. Her experiences as a mom have drawn her deeper into God’s word as a source of wisdom and direction for her family. Katie serves as a volunteer leader on the fpKIDS team at the Pellissippi Campus at Faith Promise.  She and her husband, Clay, have been part of the Faith Promise family for two years.

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.

Question from the Parenting Trenches: “Do I Celebrate Everything?”

Soccer World Cup

At our recent Marriage & Parent Summit a great question emerged from a parent in the trenches:

“I want to encourage my children, but don’t believe everyone gets a trophy. 

What do I do?”

I believe this question hits on a topic many parents wrestle through. How do I build my child’s self-esteem without going overboard? I asked my friend, Rob Cummings, his thoughts based upon his experience as a dad, coach, and school administrator.  Here is what he had to share…

Being a coach, a teacher, and a father this is a question that I have wrestled with for many years.  Not only for my own children but also for children that I have been blessed to work with. It goes without saying that every parent wants success for their child.  Every parent wants their child to be recognized in front of others but should everyone get a trophy?  For me the answer has become quite simple but for others the answer may be quite complex.  God created us with unique talents and abilities.  We were created in His image as individuals who have unique skill sets that allow us to experience the world around us in different ways. 

I have been blessed with three very different girls.  Savanna is a senior in high school who is incredibly competitive. She has been recruited by several colleges to play basketball next year.  Emma is in 8th grade at my school. She is a multi-sport athlete who enjoys competing but is more content to play for the joy of sport. Bel, who is adopted from Haiti, doesn’t understand competition because competition is not inherent in her culture.  Each would give you a different answer to the question whether or not a trophy is important but there is one common theme they would all share.

Do your best in everything you do and get satisfaction in knowing that you have done your best. 

As Paul stated in Colossians 3:22 (NIV), “…obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for The Lord.”

Encourage your children to participate and do their best regardless of whether or not they get a trophy.  Ultimately all your children want is to hear is mom or dad saying, “I love to watch you……”

I stand in agreement with Rob. Our kids are wired in dramatically different ways yet there is a consistent theme among all of them… they need our affirmation.

We can make the mistake of believing that we build their self-image by never letting them lose. However it can set them up for failure in the future. Our kids need to learn the reality of life. People come in first, second, third, etc. Robbing them of the opportunity to wrestle with competition as a child (when the stakes are low) means they have to wrestle with it as an adult (when the stakes are higher).

We can set our kids up for success by helping them learn how to walk out the realities of competition.

We can set our kids up for success by being present in the aftermath and being the voice they need to hear reminding them that they are not defined by the score board.  They are defined by their Savior.

Family Life: Good News Or Bad News?

(This post was written by Chuck Carringer, Pastor of Family Ministries)

As parents, we are in position to have the greatest influence on our children. Whether that is good news or bad news for our kids depends on us. Lately, I have been reading I & II Kings in the Bible. So often, a new king is described as Josiah was in II Kings 22:2 “He did right in the sight of the Lord and walked in all the way of his father David.” Another, less promising example of a king following his father’s example is Amon as described in II Kings 21:20 “He did evil in the sight of the Lord as Manasseh his father had done.”

Just as kings Josiah & Amon, it has been my experience that most people reflect at least some of the actions, behaviors, and often the values of their parents. One of our family values at Faith Promise Church is to “Make it Personal.” The “it” refers to our faith and relationship with the Lord. My commitment to grow in my faith and make my relationship with God the priority of my life will impact my children.

Our kids are smart and are watching our example. As they grow older, they want to see alignment in what we say and what we do. The reality is, just like the king’s kids, our children are greatly influenced for good or for bad by their parents.

Does your example put your kids on the right path?

Famly Life: Drive Time

(This post was written by Chuck Carringer, Pastor of Family Ministries)

A lot of us have some memories of very unpleasant trips in the car with our kids. Perhaps it was on a long drive to vacation or to a relative’s house that went badly. Depending on the age and number of kids in the car, the possibilities are limitless. There was probably crying, hateful remarks, broken promises, etc., and the kids probably did some of that too. Although long trips may continue to be challenging, it is the short, regular, daily trips that I want us to evaluate.

Most of us spend some amount of time in the car with our children. Let’s be intentional about how we can most effectively use this time together. Some possibilities include:

  • create the desired environment by playing a worship CD
  • pray together with or for your children
  • affirm them
  • talk about their impressions from weekend children’s services or Wednesday student services (check out the Parent Connection on the church blog to get experience summaries and conversation ideas)
  • plan upcoming family experiences
  • listen to a chapter of Proverbs from The Message or the NLT translation of the Bible, and discuss their takeaway
  • just talk – prohibit texting or cell phone use for 5-10 minutes

We spend a lot of time in our cars. Parents, let’s be intentional with travel time together with our kids.

Can you think of more ideas to add to the list?

Family Life: A Partnership Between

(This post was written by Chuck Carringer, Pastor of Family Ministries)

The Family Ministry of Faith Promise Church is committed to creating partnerships that equip families to lead the next generation in following Christ. There is potential for a powerful partnership when you combine the family and the church. God designed both the family and the church. As parents, we are instructed by God (Deuteronomy 6) to train and teach our children about the Lord. We must be diligent and intentional in our efforts. We are instructed to take the lead in the spiritual formation of our children. However, we don’t have to nor should we take this journey alone.

Reggie Joiner, in his excellent book Think Orange, describes the church and family partnership as combining the colors red and yellow. The heart of the family is represented by red and the light of the church as yellow. When the two combine, not only do you have orange but you have a powerful and effective partnership. Our Family Ministry team serves diligently to provide an incredible experience each weekend for children and on Wednesday for middle & high school students.

Our partnerships strengthen as we want to connect parents to the experiences of their children. Consequently, for each experience we have designed a Parent Connection link on the Faith Promise website that enables parents to be aware of the focus and experience of their children and students. In addition, there are always a few conversation prompts designed to allow the parent to generate a spiritually based conversation connected to their child’s experience. The Parent Connection resource is one way that we can partner with and equip parents to better enable them to take the lead in the spiritual formation of their children.

Parents, have you found the Parent Connection resource beneficial?