08 February 2010
Shepherding a Child's Heart Week 4
Hi friends!!! Have I mentioned how much I ADORE this book and this Sunday School class? Pretty sure I have, and it just gets better and better. Yesterday, driving home from church, John goes, "I'd love to have Linda and John over." It's true, they not only teach so well, but the fruit of their labors is so evident with their 4 adult kids...well Robert is still in High School, but he is really tall! LOL
If you missed Week 1 or Week 2 or Week 3 click on the word week and you can view my previous blogs...my friend Suzette has helped me navigate through this blog world! Thanks Suzie!!!
This week's lesson was reading Chapters 8-9...the chapters are a bit out of order, but Linda and John designed it that way so to coincide with the video series Tedd Tripp has and to keep like-minded discussions together.
Chapter 8: Embracing Biblical Methods:
I loved this chapter because it allowed me to look back at my own childhood and see what methods my parents used with us that were not so biblical but at the time they were doing the best they could (A lot of parents parent the way they grew up and even if it was wrong they may think, "well, I didn't turn out so bad," and they repeat that same parenting. But now, my parents and I have discussed a lot of these issues and they see where there were mistakes made. Isn't that the beauty of Christ? We can look back and see where we messed up, ask for forgiveness and move on. I love my parents dearly and we are really working on having better communication now that I am older...I also see a lot of growth in Christ, and steps in the right direction).
Tedd Tripp says, "A biblical approach to children involves two elements that you weave together. One element is rich, full communication. The other is the rod." In the book of Proverbs you see how both of these methods are used side by side. (see Proverbs 23: 13-19, and Proverbs 23:22 and verse 26.)
Many times parents use the rod without explaining why the child is being disciplined or finding out why the child did the wrong behavior. To the parent all that is important is that the behavior stop instead of finding the heart issue, sharing with the child why that behavior offends God, learning more about what led to the behavior. In our fast pace world, a quick fix seems to be the right answer to most parents instead of taking the extended time of having a dialogue and not a monologue. Parents love to lecture and tell their children what they need to do, but how many parents take the time to really listen to their children's fears, secrets, hopes, wishes, dreams, weakness, or strengths. Usually parents are so busy with their own lives that they hush up their children every chance they get, and then by the time their children are teenagers, they wonder why their children don't talk, or open up anymore.
Tedd Tripp was discussing how children need a parent who is above them (the authority figure) but also right alongside them (a fellow sinner who makes mistakes and needs the Lord's forgiveness)...I can remember a lot of the authority part in my household, but not so much the side by side part. Although their were many times my mom would come to me and apologize for something she may have done wrong, and that was meaningful, but then there were lots of hypocritical actions that never got addressed until years later. In my house we were not allowed to voice our opinions if they were contrary to our parents. Even if done respectfully it would not have gone well. I can remember many times standing in the kitchen being lectured to for things like not putting the dishes in the dishwasher correctly. But I wouldn't dare speak a word for fear of being yelled at. I don't think my parents intentionally meant to keep us all silent, but by their actions it was just understood that children didn't voice their opinions or share how they felt. Parents were always right no matter what. Now, I always respected authority, and was always afraid of ever being in trouble, so I guess that part was good. But growing up because we didn't have open communication, or because I didn't feel like I could share my feelings, there was a lot of resentment as a teenager. I felt very alone in my house. Even with two sisters and two parents. I turned to the Lord a lot of times, but I also turned to friends to feel good about myself.
Now, as a parent, I want to make sure that I allow my children to speak, respectfully of course, but I want to be able to ask the right questions, and really hear their heart. Tedd Tripp had 6 awesome questions you can ask your child when they do something wrong, this way you can get to the heart of the matter and also embrace good communication:
1. What were you feeling when you... (hit your sister)?
2. What did ________ do to make you mad/sad/angry?
3. Help me understand how (hitting your sister) seemed to make things better?
4. What was the problem with what she was doing to you? (perhaps they were sinned against, let them tell you about it)
5. In what other ways could you have responded? (or what would have been a better choice?)
6. How do you think your response reflected trust or lack of trust in God's ability to care for and protect you?
Obviously these questions must be age appropriate! If your child is 2 like mine and just learning how to communicate questions like these might not even be appropriate yet, but good modeling and talking about choices (good and bad) might be more age appropriate.
Tedd Tripp says, "You must begin by seeking to understand the internal conflict that was expressed in hitting the sister." (or whatever the situation may be)
Hard work right? But so worth it!
Chapter 9: Embracing Biblical Methods: Types of Communication
Tedd Tripp basically was saying that as parents we may reduce our parenting to rules, correction, and discipline (all of which are important) as our only modes of communication, when in reality there are many more ways of communication:
See Tomorrow's Blog as I continue/delve in deeper with these 8 modes of communication with our children! (Sorry guys...I have sooooooo much cooking to do today...for a friend who just had a baby and for our ladies bible study tomorrow...)
Have a great day!