How to Teach Your Kids to Discipline Themselves

The homework problem that stumps them… the toy they don’t want to share… the practice they don’t feel like attending… the commitment they don’t want to honor… the sibling they want to smack… Preparing our hearts daily with the truth of God’s Word enables us to breathe through our kids’ meltdowns and apply the discipline they need to grow into God’s calling on their lives.

“You are to honor your father and mother.” (Exodus 20:12)

He doesn’t say, “only if you agree…” or “when you feel like it…” or even “if your parents are right.” After dealing with the Israelites in the desert for 40 years, no one knows the frustration of discipling their children as well as God. He wants what’s best for us, and He’s given us His Word to help us. Here are more distinct actions to prevent your child from running wild.

1. Tell them “no” and tell them why.

“Take 20 buttons out of your jar,” I tell my kids all week long. I’ve instilled a system that allows me a break from being the “no” monster all of the time. When their jars are full, my children are allowed to cash them in for a small prize. But losing their buttons helps children see a concrete ramification of their choices. Whether kids are told they can’t have it their way, break a rule, or are on a losing team, accepting the consequence is a necessary humbling. 

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5 Things to do When You Catch Your Kids Lying

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”Ephesians 4:29 NIV

“I don’t have them,” she repeated.

“Leave your sister alone!” our parents echoed from up the stairs.

Decades later I learned the shirts I’d been looking for were underneath my little sister and her mattress the entire time.

“Why didn’t you just ask?” I wondered out loud. It wasn’t the borrowing that aggravated me, but the lying about it afterwards.

Grown adults are easily tempted to be dishonest by fear, and kids are no different. I retell this story to my daughters when I catch them in a lie, not to break the seriousness of the situation, but to illustrate the normality with which everyone has to deal with lying and its consequences.

When we catch our kids lying, there a few things we can do to break the chain reaction of fear and dishonesty. Free them up to embrace the truth, even when consequences are sure to follow.

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The Somber Explaining… (#jammed daily devo, day 344)

December #jammed: Grace, gifted.

Day 344: Grace in tragedy.

“No man knows when his hour will come.” Ecclesiastes 9:12a

“OK,” I took a deep breath as I sat down at the dinner table with my two girls, “I need to DECJAM10fill you in on what happened today.”

They looked at me wide-eyed and worried, and listened as I told them what had happened in Las Vegas that day. They didn’t understand completely, and I searched to explain just enough of something that I don’t completely understand, myself.

“I would play you a video, but I don’t want it to scare you,” I explained. Now that everyone has a cell-phone, there’s way too much footage available. Our human hearts can’t fully digest the full scope of tragedy without serious scars. I found one video that showed the singer on stage, and then gunshots and screams could be heard. I let them catch a glimpse of the singer, but pulled the screen away quickly after the gunshots started.

They saw my eyes tear up. I felt the lump in my throat.

Why?

Christmas.

God is not surprised at what’s going on. The intensity of everything around us is escalating. People are losing sight of God, and the earth is groaning …waiting …for Christ to return.

Christmas wasn’t a surprise. Jesus’ birth was prophesied for thousands of years in thousands of ways by many people before He lay in a manger under the blanket of angels. It was timed purposely, by the Author of time, Himself.

I don’t know what to say to my girls about Las Vegas. All I can do is repeat what I know to myself and to them. There’s no way to fully understand or explain that kind of madness. It’s pure evil stomping his feet because he’s already lost. And he’s only got so much time left to reek havoc.

Christmas. He came exactly when He was supposed to come.

He’ll come back when it’s time. But days like Vegas …like September 11th …make my heart yearn for Him to come back now.

click to tweet graph, dec jammed

Father, Praise You for the promise of Jesus’ return. You keep every promise and we are so thankful and hopeful because of who You are. Forgive us for trying to explain away the world’s groaning with any kind of reason, whatsoever, and bless us to be strong ambassadors of faith in these last days on earth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

 

The Bench (#jammed daily devo, day 137)

May #jammed: Growing Grace.

Day 137: The wrong spot.

“Make your parents happy
 Proverbs 23:22

“Oh, no, MOM!” my daughter wailed, “our bench is gone.”may correction

We’d been stopping eat lunch on our favorite bench since she was just a little toddler. Things change and life moves …and so did our bench.

Today’s section of Proverbs encourages us to discipline our children. Every parent wishes for their child to make good decisions, hang on our every wise word, follow our rules, and respectfully make us proud.

But what happens when the bench moves? When they move away from us? When they grow up? What happens then? Will they retain all of the wisdom we’ve tried to instill upon them in the short time we’ve had them under our noses? Will our arms remain open as their lives drift beyond our understanding and control?

Buy the truth and do not sell it—
    wisdom, instruction and insight as well.” Proverbs 23:23

The above verse gives us three keys to parent with wisdom:

wisdom-  knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action. dictionary.com

When we tell our children the Truth, we are giving them the opportunity to digest wisdom. If we simply respond, “because I said so,” we rob them of the ability to learn how to discern right from wrong. When we go to God’s Word with our kids, He begins to move in their hearts. They will eventually figure out that we don’t know everything, nor are we entitled to make mistakes without apology. Honesty, humlity, and apology build a foundation for formative wisdom.

instruction- education. (dictionary.com)

It’s not only important for our children to hear the Word of God from us, but it’s important for them to hear it from their peers. A solid church family, Sunday school, after school program, youth groups, Christian camps …it’s important to let them learn the Word of God, and how to build a community of fellowship, too.

insight-an instance of apprehending the true nature of a thing, especially through intuitive understanding. (dictionary.com)

Sometimes, the lightbulb pops on mid-verse. After praying about a specific situation, the Word will open right up and address it. God’s Living Word is alive and active, and our kids need the savvy to navigate the pages of the Bible. We can help them build a solid foundation simply by reading a short devotion a day with them, and praying with them often.

When we teach our children how to go to God, it prepares their hearts to lean on Christ. They will make mistakes, and it will hurt to watch. Trust that He will always be after their hearts …making their triumphant moments all the more sweet.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You for the applicable nature of Your Word. Thank You for helping us though life and leaving us with the Holy Spirit to help us interpret and remember what we read and experience. Forgive us for lecturing our children with our ways, and help us continuously point them to Yours first. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Word-ing,

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

The Somber Explaining… (#jammed daily devo, day 344)

December #jammed: Grace, gifted.

Day 344: Grace in tragedy.

“No man knows when his hour will come.” Ecclesiastes 9:12a

“OK,” I took a deep breath as I sat down at the dinner table with my two girls, “I need to DECJAM10fill you in on what happened today.”

They looked at me wide-eyed and worried, and listened as I told them what had happened in Las Vegas that day. They didn’t understand completely, and I searched to explain just enough of something that I don’t completely understand, myself.

“I would play you a video, but I don’t want it to scare you,” I explained. Now that everyone has a cell-phone, there’s way too much footage available. Our human hearts can’t fully digest the full scope of tragedy without serious scars. I found one video that showed the singer on stage, and then gunshots and screams could be heard. I let them catch a glimpse of the singer, but pulled the screen away quickly after the gunshots started.

They saw my eyes tear up. I felt the lump in my throat.

Why?

Christmas.

God is not surprised at what’s going on. The intensity of everything around us is escalating. People are losing sight of God, and the earth is groaning …waiting …for Christ to return.

Christmas wasn’t a surprise. Jesus’ birth was prophesied for thousands of years in thousands of ways by many people before He lay in a manger under the blanket of angels. It was timed purposely, by the Author of time, Himself.

I don’t know what to say to my girls about Las Vegas. All I can do is repeat what I know to myself and to them. There’s no way to fully understand or explain that kind of madness. It’s pure evil stomping his feet because he’s already lost. And he’s only got so much time left to reek havoc.

Christmas. He came exactly when He was supposed to come.

He’ll come back when it’s time. But days like Vegas …like September 11th …make my heart yearn for Him to come back now.

click to tweet graph, dec jammed

Father, Praise You for the promise of Jesus’ return. You keep every promise and we are so thankful and hopeful because of who You are. Forgive us for trying to explain away the world’s groaning with any kind of reason, whatsoever, and bless us to be strong ambassadors of faith in these last days on earth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80.