Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Training Up Our Children

If there is one thing I have learned about being a mother recently, it's that I have no idea what I'm doing! Little Bear is a beautiful and wonderfully joyful child. But as he becomes more mobile, he's becoming a greater risk for danger and is beginning to want more things.

This new stage in his development has lead Daddy Bear and I to begin more seriously discussing the way we hope to raise Little Bear and our other future children...the way we hope to train them to be lovers of God and of His people.

The begin, I've started reading the book, "To Train Up A Child" (by Michael Pearl). It's an good book (albeit sometimes a tad bit extreme). It has lead us to begin a great conversation which is unlikely to end until our last child is grown.

Here are some of the highlights so far as we begin this adventure of training our children:

Our Family Training/Discipline Mission Statement:
We believe God disciplines His children for their benefit and that it is a demonstration of His love for us. Therefore, we aim to train our own children 1) for their benefit, that they might be men and women of character and 2) as a demonstration of our love for them, that we are unwilling to allow them to wallow in their fallen nature.

Methods of Fulfilling This Mission:
• Always use a calm, quiet voice when disciplining.
• Never discipline in anger.
• Always be consistent.
• Provide opportunities to train.
• Spank when necessary.
• Don’t Hold Grudges
• Never disagree about disciplining in front of children.
• Always support each other in public and in front of children.
• Provide double the affection to every effort to discipline.
• Teach the importance of authority and total obedience.
• Punishment is given in response to attitude (willful disobedience), not behavior.
• Limit the number of toys. Instead, provide raw materials that encourage creativity.
• Teach hospitality to guests.
• Teach the gift of service.
• Celebrate milestones and use those times to teach.
• Teach sons to be protectors and helpers. Teach daughters to be caregivers and helpers.
• Teach the value of work
• Start chores early.
• Work along side of children and teach that work can be pleasant.
• Limit Television to 30 min/day (Under 2 no more than 2 hrs/week).
• Do not provide candy or sugary sweets except for special occasions.
• Provide opportunities for special events among special relationships.
• Celebrate Advent and Lent together.
• Reward with special privileges and praise, rather than toys and gifts.
• When providing an allowance, the child receives 1 dollar per number of years old he/she is. Child is expected to give, save and spend (with permission) his/her money.
• Decrease the amount of branding (on clothing, toys, etc.) as best as possible.

Expectations of our children:
• We expect our children to think of others first.
• We expect our children to obey the first time.
• Whining or begging is not acceptable.
• We believe delayed obedience is not obedience.
• We expect our children to accept and be thankful for discipline.

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