Parenting Advice.

While cleaning out my files I stumbled across somes notes taken from a Mom's Night back in 2012. The speaker was a seasoned mother who wanted to encourage and support young moms as they began their journey of raising their children in the fear of the Lord. Though I had already been a parent for 12 years, I was challenged by her entire message, and after reading the notes again tonight I am just as convicted to apply these nuggets of wisdom to my parenting now as I was then.
I hope you will find these as encouraging as I did!
  • Don't burden your children with your own ego.
  • Discipline your children with love - not your pride.
  • Train for, require, and expect first time obedience. If you do not, you are giving your children a chance to sin ... one, two, three more times. Do not cause them to stumble.
  • Do not tolerate mean teasing or picking on one another. Create a home where everyone feels safe, secure, and appreciated.
  • Discipline in private.
  • Give clear standards for behavior and the consequence for disobedience before you go somewhere with your children. A football player knows the rules before he steps on the field. Your children should know the expectations you have for them before they are put into any given setting. Behavior standards at a wedding or a dinner party are much different than those at a park. Set them up for success, not failure.
  • Do not allow whining!
  • Let your Yes be YES and your No be NO. Do not let crying, whining, or begging change your mind when you have made a decision. Children need to be as content with the word 'no' as they are with the word 'yes.'
  • Learn to say No to social events. Your child will not be less successful or inept because she did not attend 14 birthday and skate parties each month.
  • Foster the feeling that HOME is as satisfying as going out. Let your home be enough.
  • Discipline for attitudes - not mistakes.
  • BE THERE. (Deuteronomy 6:6) We cannot train our children in the ways of the Lord when we are not with our children. Your presence is what provides security, comfort, and consistency in your child's life.
  • Discipline does not always have to be harsh. Create natural consequences for sinful actions. The child leaves dirty clothes all over their floor? Take the clothes and put them in a bag. When she has no clean clothes, she will understand. She won't brush and floss her teeth? Let her pay for the filling. She will not speak to you respectfully? She does not get to have time with her friends. Your children keep arguing and fighting with one another? Have them walk around the backyard holding hands until they are kind. 
  • Overlook childish mistakes.
  • Discipline with confidence - not disgust.
  • Discipline a toddler quickly and move on with your day. Stop everything to talk to your child/teen.
  • Teenagers need as much attention and affection as a toddler. Do not miss the opportunity to pour into them! 
  • SMILE at your children. Laugh. Sing. Dance. Play. "Your smile should be the regular landscape of your child's life."
The behavior of our children is seen by everyone. Your family, your parenting, your children ... they are a living testimony of your walk with the Lord. Do not underestimate this truth! 

Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right. 
Proverbs 20:11

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