Spiritual Parenting ~ Session 5

bekah Parenting 1 Comment

We are nearing the end of what has been hands down, the best parenting class we’ve ever been a part of
because the focus is

spiritual
and
eternal.

It’s about asking every day,
every moment,
“God, what are you doing in my child’s heart? in his life?”

And that changes how I parent. It can’t help but not.

Responsibility and Course Correction were the environments covered in Session 5.

Michelle Anthony began the class by asking an important question.
What will stretch me to rely on God’s strength, instead of my own?

Responsibility
So often, that word brings images of weightiness and burden, especially when it’s tied to parenting. God wants us to view responsibility as a privilege, a way to daily live in expectation of how He is working, and furthermore, be accountable to that responsibility.

A very practical way to intentionally create the environment of Responsibility in our home, has to do with money. When it comes to the issue of money, and teaching our boys about fiscal responsibility, I so often feel at a loss. I know how I don’t want them to view money and spending, but I’m not quite sure how I do want to approach the topic. Michelle brilliantly put words to my forming thoughts.

In agreement with her philosophy of not paying her kids to help around the home {since that is an act of service, and we don’t get paid for acts of service}, I love how Michelle and her hubby gave their kids spending money, which I’ll appropriately term responsibility dough! Starting at a young age, her children received money in the amount of their ages every two weeks. For example, at four, her daughter would receive $4 every 2 weeks. As the kids got older, obviously the amount of responsibility dough increased to weekly, and then doubled, and then an appropriate amount in High School was given.
As parents, they obviously provided for their kids needs, but as their children grew, so did their responsibilities. In High School, the kids were required to budget their responsibility dough for clothes, deodorant, makeup, and shampoo, as well as summer camp and trips. The goal was to watch their kids spending habits {did they budget wisely and have leftover money at the end of the month, or overspend and have to “borrow” from the mom and dad bank?!} By observing these cues, they wisely came alongside, and helped create a safe environment to discuss spending habits and even help pray that God could heal areas where spending was an issue.
How amazing is that? 
Imagine how confident our kids will be, when they enter the real world, knowing how to budget money, and finding freedom in that specific responsibility? Money is an issue we daily face, and by walking alongside our kids in their spending habits, we can pray for, and help intervene when necessary, empowering them to be independent, responsible adults.

 

We have one basket in our home that holds all the boys toys, toys that we have never bought, but were given to them for birthdays or holidays. If the basket overflows, they will personally tell you that they get to choose a toy, and then give it away to another friend or Goodwill.
It’s that simple!
So when Tanner, at age 3, asked, and asked for a Bumblebee Bot Transformer {thank you cartoon commercials} we told him he could save up his money and purchase it. Slowly, he pooled together his birthday money and coins, while we pitched in $2.00 for his patient efforts. Together, the three of us found the best price for the bright transformer on Amazon, and Tanner helped place the order for his much dreamt about car. When the box arrived in the mail, you would have thought it was Christmas day! Tanner slept with The Bumble Bot Transformer car for three months straight. But aside from a boy in love with his first car, we saw something precious take place in his heart. By saving and earning, he prized that toy above any other. He had worked for it, and appreciated it’s value. I am convinced that if my boys have to save for, budget, and spend their money, it will prepare them to handle it responsibly in the future. And when they fail, {‘cuz we all do}, Bryan and I will be there to guide them {not rescue them} back on course.

Course Correction
I know, I can hear the heavy sighs already…  trust me, this is good stuff!

When it comes to discipline, there are days when I feel that all I do is discipline.
Hebrews 12 lays out a clear plan for discipline {course correction} in which the end goal is healing! A good parent disciplines for a purpose. As parents, let’s keep our eyes on the end goal!

3 Steps for Course Correction

1. Some sort of pain must be involved. Ironically, what’s painful for one kid, may not be painful for another. To one kid, the pain from a time-out could far outweigh the pain from a spanking. My prayer is to have a child-specific style with each of my boys by asking God how to discipline specifically for their personality and heart.
Consistency with course correction is HUGE! I can’t change my methodology depending on their reaction. Proper training creates peace and righteousness ~ that is the long-term goal.

2. Strengthen them when they are being corrected. Affirm your son or daughter of who they are. Hug them, and tell them that their disobedience does not define them. Give them hope. A child can never have too many hugs, love, or prayer over them.

3. Make level paths for their feet. Give them tools for the future.

Above all else, give grace. No one wants to be nit-picked and disciplined over every little thing. Our kids are sinners, so let’s not act shocked when they act as sinners. Remember, the end goal is healing! God allows painful things to happen in our kids to teach healing, and bring a harvest of righteousness and peace!

A to the men!

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