We have been on a mission for a while to turn what feels like complete insanity and utter chaos in our home into complete balance and utter cooperation.
My husband and I sometimes feel like we are drowning in the act of everyday living. With a family the size of ours plus the other stresses that we deal with (everyone deals with)….bills, jobs, financial concerns…balance is a BIG deal.
In order to encourage change in behaviors, from ourselves as well as the children, we use acts of everyday living to promote growth, encourage strengths, inspire positive behaviors and words, and incite self-discipline, we use a number of practices at our disposal. We have tried groundings, taking possessions away (bikes, skateboards, etc), chores, talking to, and even tried volunteer work in soup kitchens. We have had them donate their favorite items to local shelters, stores, or even neighbors and/or cousins. I have come to realize it’s not so much the kids’ behaviors that are terrible as much as it is my reactions to their behaviors. I have come to realize, fought against it tooth and nail, that to create change in our home, as a parent I have to make the change myself and the rest of the family will follow suit.
Some changes that will encourage change among parents and children include:
- Praying together as a family. “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Whatever happens, give thanks, because it is God’s will in Christ Jesus that you do this.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
- Teach children to thank God for EVERYTHING, even the not so good days. “Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” Psalm 106:1
- Be consistent in disciplinary actions. (This doesn’t meant to beat the crap out of your child. It doesn’t promote violence at all. It simply means without parental guidance through discipline a child will not learn the difference between right and wrong.) “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.” Proverbs 13:24
- Talk to them, encourage them. “We will not conceal them from their children, But tell to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, And His strength and His wondrous works that He has done.” Psalm 78:4
- Instill values of respect for others, humility, morality, generosity, self-control/discipline, the ability to practice what one preaches, forgiveness, commitment, honesty, faith, and love. Exodus 20:1-17
- I am the LORD thy God, Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Beside Me
- Thou Shalt Not Worship Any Graven Images
- Thou Shalt Not Take the Name of the Lord Thy God in Vain
- Remember the Sabbath Day to Rest and Keep it Holy
- Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother
- Thou Shalt Not Kill
- Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery
- Thou Shalt Not Steal
- Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness
- Thou Shalt Not Covet Anything That is Thy Neighbor’s
- Designate chores to the children. “May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands.” Psalm 90:17
God doesn’t promise easy to anyone, but He does promise to give us strength in our trials. With God, I am discovering my strengths and building on my weaknesses, I am aspiring to change and grow, I am committed to spreading God’s love through service to others.
And this is what I want for my children.